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New photo monitoring tool tracks environmental change

Have you ever gazed out across a Chesapeake Bay scene and wondered what it looked like in the past, or might look like in the future?

Thanks to educators at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, you can now do exactly that using a new photo monitoring tool at York River State Park between Williamsburg and Richmond.

Sarah Nuss, education coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia, led the effort to install a “Chronolog” at a popular vantage point within the 2,500-acre park. The physical Chronolog platform features a rigid bracket designed to hold cell phones so that sequential visitors to a particular locality can capture a consistent scene through their phone’s camera lens.

Once shared with the chronolog.io website via email, software stitches the images into a time-lapse photo series that illustrates the changing environment—in this case, the changing landscape of Taskinas Creek and adjacent woodlands. The meandering, marsh-lined w...

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