It’s no mystery that human activity and the production of material goods has an adverse impact on the natural world. Climate change and dwindling natural resources prove that it’s now more important than ever to provide the public with credible information on the environment’s health so that businesses and the general public can make vital changes.
In order to offer the most thorough and up-to-date research information on managing natural resources, international ecologists, science institutions, universities, remote field station workers and governments on a local, state, and federal level need to come together through research and collaboration to combat climate change.
However, research operations aren’t free, and many organizations don’t have the available funds to run extensive programs that promote environmental sustainability, especially if they’re in remote locations.
Here’s what you need to know about mobile field stations and their benefits in managing natural resources.
The Importance of Field Stations
Field stations are essential for ecological research and education — they create a safe space for researchers, educators, and staff to remain immersed in a location while gathering information.
According to the Ecological Society of America (ESA), “Field stations provide a physical and intellectual space for at least four societal functions,” which include:
- Observing environmental change
- Training the next generation of scientists and continuing the training of natural resource professionals and practicing educators
- Engaging the public in science and discovery of the natural world
- Testing space for new methods and technologies
Field stations also function as safe storage facilities for “long-term data sets and plant and animal collections,” explains the ESA. “These data sets are especially valuable in the face of local to global changes in temperature, precipitation, storm intensity, phenology, and other factors associated with changing climate and land use.”
For ecologists and naturalists, field stations are essential in their work to better understand the environment.
Benefits of WeatherPort Mobile Field Stations
In many cases, building a traditional field station to study an area results in additional harm to the environment during construction.
WeatherPort manufactures a wide range of portable building solutions to meet the needs of your small or large-scale research projects without the hassle of disruptive construction.
What if your field station needs facilities for living accommodations, a laboratory, and storage for equipment and samples but conventional construction calling for wood, brick and mortar, or steel isn’t feasible for your operation? WeatherPort’s field stations offer high-end facilities without using heavy, unsustainable construction materials that can sustain any weather or climate without impacting the area they’re stationed in.
Our engineered fabric structures provide a green building solution that allows research teams to quickly establish a remote camp complete with living, research, and storage space along with other unique advantages that align with the mission of naturalists, scientists, and ecologists.
Traditional field stations made of wood or concrete are much more expensive than mobile fabric structures because they require site preparation, construction, labor, facility maintenance, and repair. WeatherPort field stations are a logical alternative to combat these high costs so that more money can be spent on the research rather than stressful setups.
And while some conventional field stations can be ecologically friendly, the price tag is always large. Consider the Shao-ming Sun Field Station; their design team constructed it with sustainable materials and it can run heating, electricity, and lighting with solar power — but it costs over three million dollars.
Field stations such as Shao-Ming Sun don’t represent economical solutions for most research operation budgets, especially for temporary field stations in remote locations.
WeatherPort mobile field stations cost much less, can be transported to different locations on the fly, and have features such as insulation layers and windows or skylights to save on energy usage for lower overall running costs.
WeatherPort field stations have minimal foundation requirements. They can be safely installed and anchored on nearly any ground type, including sand, gravel, and snow, which allows for less site preparation, reduced labor, and minimal construction that would otherwise disrupt the area’s natural environment.
Our field stations are relocatable at their core; they’re engineered to be quickly and easily assembled with minimal skill, and designed with the intent to be transported when and wherever you need them. Through our extensive field and laboratory testing, we ensure structural integrity with little to no risk of mechanical failures.
Programs and industries spanning the globe have used WeatherPort mobile field stations as permanent research facilities, semi-permanently only while research is being conducted, seasonally, and also temporarily for a handful of days before moving to a different location.
Our popular gable buildings are great options for your field station needs and can be customized to meet your specific requirements.
The GB Series is for smaller team operations, offering a straight-wall design, easy assembly, and a highly durable structure. For mid-size research facilities, the versatile HGB Series can be designed up to 30’ wide with customizable lengths. For large research projects, or for storing research equipment, the DAGB Series can match the task reaching widths of up to 150’ and any length.
Our open span design features a high-strength metal frame system available in galvanized steel or aircraft-grade aluminum to maximize all available interior space for your research, lodging, laboratory, and equipment storage accommodations. Unlike wood or steel buildings, engineered fabric structures from WeatherPort can be easily expanded or modified to meet the changing needs of your operation, so you can remain focused on research rather than stressful facility demands.
Here are some additional technical features to customize your mobile field station:
- Windows and skylights: Windows and skylights enable you to utilize natural light, reducing the need for electricity and lighting during the day to provide a bright interior conducive to carrying out research activities.
- Insulation systems: Capable of functioning in extreme climates, cold or hot, our insulation systems can meet any R-value to increase energy efficiency.
- Powder coating: Our fabric tensioned membrane is engineered to resist abrasion, but our powder coating offers an extra boost of protection to protect against high humidity, corrosives, or sea spray.
WeatherPort Mobile Field Stations Help Manage Natural Resources
Since opening our doors in 1968, WeatherPort has provided engineered fabric buildings to over 70 countries located in some of the most extreme climates, from the arctic to the desert. Our mobile field stations are designed for easy transport, quick setup, and zero to minimal environmental impact for temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent building operation requirements around the world.
If you’re interested in learning more about WeatherPort’s mobile field stations and how they manage natural resources during research operations, call us at +1 (970) 399-5909 to speak with a building specialist or complete our online form to submit an inquiry for a free consultation.