Get Involved

So you've been through the website,  read every post in the SkyTruth blog, and liked us on facebook.  Perhaps you have even made a tax-deductible donation to support the cause.  You're inspired, and  you're itching to do something more. 

Well here at SkyTruth Labs, we have plenty of opportunities for creative, talented people that are looking for ways to make the world a better place.

For students, we have an active internship program that will provide you with opportunities to work with exciting new technologies, and plenty of serious work to impress your professors with. 

For volunteers, we have a light-weight training program in satellite image analysis that will enable you to participate in our monitoring programs, where you may have the chance to catch polluters in the act.

How can volunteers with technical skills help?

Skythruth receives a lot of valuable input from viewers of the site. this information consists of possible environmental issues concerning spills, construction, mining permits, drilling permits,.... They are asking for information regarding these issues.

 This might begin with checking out available satellite images to verify the incident or display areas effected and view the possible environmental side effects. These sites require some technical skills to find, analyze, and download the images, as do the GIS tools to annotate the images.

We also monitor relevant government agencies for incident reports, proceedings, etc. for info that can lead us to reportable problems. This can also require some technical skill to setup feed links or search databases. 

So, the tools that we generally use are all open source and include;

· EarthExplorer - Satellite images available from USGS,

· Quantium GIS - plots data onto map/geographic images,   
 
         GRASS/ GDAL - used in conjunction with Quantium GIS to plot data,

· Postgre SQL - tool used to interface with SQL Databases,

· Google - Drive, Docs, Spread, Maps, etc.

· Python - Scripting Language used for many background tasks,

If you already have knowledge of their comparable proprietary counterparts and the above software is easy to learn and are available online and for download and installation. Multiple tutorials in both text and video(YouTube, generally) are also available online. We have added some tutorials of our own that highlight the options that we use the most.

Skytruth has a vision of volunteers as monitors being responsible for certain geographic areas. This would limit the number of agencies to be monitored and would allow them to become very familiar with the infrastructure and environment in their area of responsibility. Depending on the amount of public interest, we may be able to form small working groups of volunteers that have complimentary skills and can help and tutor each other. This level of monitoring will require commitment and persistence.

If you have all, some or none (but are willing to put in the time to learn them) of these skills and are willing to commit the time and energy,  contact labs@skytruth.org.