The Public Lab DIY Spectrometry Kit caught my eye as I scanned recently launched projects this morning. About a year and a half ago I chose to leave science as a professional study. Being a conservation biologist for about 15 years, starting as a field tech for the USDA Forest Service in 1997, I still geek out on anything that sparks that deep desire to both understand the natural world and protect it from further destruction at the hands of humans.
For many of those years I spent most of my week working on either the coastal streams or estuaries of Oregon. I would often come across polluted waters. I had access to expensive tools that allowed me to tell what pollutants were present. The public though does not have access to these kinds of tools. As a dad, I find projects like this mind-blowing. When the Deepwater Horizon Spill was first happening the Gulf of Mexico my son helped my colleagues and I tract the spread of oil using satellite imagery and a tool we developed called Data Basin. I can’t wait to test materials with my kids with the DIY Spectrometry Kit. Check the project out today.