benfox.net

Projects

Agricultural Wireless Sensor Networks

In a research partnership with Volpe Vineyards of Prosser, WA, I have been developing a series of wireless sensor nodes for various agricultural and conservation projects:

  1. Sap flow and ground-penetrating radar sensors for monitoring and managing water use;
  2. GPS-based invisible "geofencing" collars and ear tags for grazing livestock in vineyard and orchard ecosystems as part of organic and full-farm management programs;
  3. Hand-held in-field spectroscopy units for a wide range of at-a-glance measuring applications from soil nutrient levels to produce ripeness to animal health checkups.

The goal is to design flexible, ubiquitous, low-cost computing hardware as well as web-based software for interpreting and managing data, as well as connecting it to relevant learning and planning resources. I am currently in the prototype development stage for the first two types of units, and plan to implement field trials over the next few growing seasons in a 50-acre Concord grape block as part of an ongoing Natural Resources Conservation Service project.

Networked Learning Communities

This is the backbone of my research, consulting, and development work, exploring educational policy reform to promote the use of semantic web and social networking technologies in developing new collaborative learning, accountability and investment strategies at the community level. I am currently working on my PhD. Dissertation at the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace Doctoral Program in International Studies in Peace, Conflict and Development at the University Jaume I in Castellon, Spain. My research aims at developing a business model for integrating educational services with career and community development, and explores cases studies in New York City and Istanbul to help act as incubators. I am currently seeking financial investment and research partnerships in these areas.

Special Education Consulting

I have worked in New York City for several years as a consultant to schools and organizations such as NYPS Special Education District 75, the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP)New York Special Needs Consulting, and the Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled, as well as private families and individual service providers, developing peer and community support groups to help children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders learn social skills important for building healthy relationships, strengthening independence, participating actively in their communities, and increasing their overall quality of life. My hope is to help empower the youth I work with to develop their own internal communities of mutual support, by helping to develop and implement policies, technologies, and institutional supports of such networks.