I wanted to take some time out and give a little outline about my involvement with and the existence of the Fragile Oasis project;
Since about August 2011 I have been in a competetion for a medal from the International Space Station (ISS). My desire to enter wasn't a self serving one. When I was younger, in my teens, I volunteered for a number of 'green' outfits. I spent my summers and other free time working on organic farms, bailing organic feed-meal and working out design and construction of various green projects ranging from housing to engine design. Along the way I also worked in IT and other high tech projects. All this led me to having a pretty comprehensive understanding of both nature and technology. In my later years I have tried to augment this with studies of fundamental sciences like chemistry, math, physics and biology to a lesser degree. Even still, I have maintained and very active and forward looking online presence.
My interests in formal academic studies have centered around an overall desire to remain involved with both technological developments and environmental concerns - specifically with applications to outerspace flight/exploration. Designing ever less destructive methods for the production of locomotive force is a hobby I have spent countless hours wrapped up in.
In the last year or two I have also become keenly involved with digital bridges to real world space exploration. Let me explain a little. Beginning a couple years ago I began to regularly watch space launches. Everything from satellites and cargo to human payloads was within my field of focus. In that time I have watched many interesting events. The last shuttle flights, numerous soyuz launches, the ESA cargo ship to ISS, Dragon testing, I even watched the virgin galactic X prize launch, as far back as 2004, from work one day to the semi-disdain of my employer.
What I have noticed in my time with these programs is an ever increasing level of public disclosure and interactivity. Spaceflightnow even used to stream a chat with the launches before miles left. These initial observations led me to want to participate on a greater level. I produced a couple videos for youtube about shuttle launches taking as many as 5 to 7 dedicated hours to produce. This might seem insignificant, but then how much time have you spent glued to a launch or rendezvous, or both over several days ? For most people a launch becomes uninteresting twenty minutes before launch and about ten minutes after. Regardless, after I had produced these pieces, still there was a longing to be more actively involved. These are huge public projects but, beyond star scanning satellite access and the odd "tweetup" there seemed little opportunity for the general public to actively get ahold of outer space. Then I made some discoveries. NASA has been TRYING to get the public interested and involved for years. They have sponsored NES games, PC games and others across many platforms. STEAM had recently released the Moonbase Alpha sim free for people, and there was more, several more efforts to utilize the resources of the internet to educate and involve the public in space based activities. As such I took a few turns at moonbase alpha, I captured the high score on NASA moonworld on the linden grids, I designed a t-shirt based on nasa for a threadless competetion and I even joined up with fragileOasis. What I really liked about fragile oasis was the chance to get my hands on something that had really been there. The astronaut in charge of the program took three medals with him to space. One for education, one for humanitarian service and one for the promotion of peace. NOW HERE !! I thought, IS A WAY TO REALLY PARTICIPATE !!! So I chose a long standing concern of mine (water stewardship) and set about making regular contributions.
What truly made fragile oasis interesting was that the projects are generally supposed to be a hybridization of work that is performed in space and on the earth. My project will result in dynamic 3d mapping of water resources and trends around the world based on both data from space and data from earth. This will help us identify and quantify our relationship to water and our impact as a species on the biosphere of the earth in a comprehensive way regarding this finite fluid resource.
See, what I would do with the project, if it won and garnered some more interest or incentive that I should do so - is create a team of people who would help with the construction and development of an API data system related to water (and content) levels in the seas, lakes and sky and calculate out impact and potential issues or solutions for our management of the water supply of the earth. Generally it is a project about making us more aware and accountable for our impact on the environment. If I win, which I believe is possible, it will generate awareness about not only the fragileOasis project and other initiatives which exist and are worthy of notice, but it will also be a step forward down a road of data-managed resource awareness and integration services within an open-source or public domain. In big business like oil and forestry for example, much is done to generate data and produce accurate projections of bio-sphere information, but in the public domain -- where can you really go to get info on your local water (unless there is an advisory alert - then its all over the front pages). But monitoring water levels and contents in real time can produce insights to problems that were not before possible and relaly help to create a preventitive mechanism instead of only a reactionary one to water pollution or other issues.
Regular monitoring or investigation of biological conditions is a good choice for human health, why would we assume it would be any different for the health of our planet. Indeed too much data is not available to the public given our level of sophistocation. Radiation, polloution, smog, electro-magnetic intensity, all this sort of information should be readily available to the public for considerations of health, real estate purchase, or environmental action. The earth and this data do not only belong to a small elite, but we all have a right to know and also we should be able to expect that regular and adequate testing, of such resources we have deemed essential, should be the case and not an exception.
** it takes about 5-10 to generate an account, then you can vote me up too; here:
also, there is the FTW homepage; here