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CASTNET is dependent on contributions from many organizations including EPA, the National Park Service (NPS), Native American tribes, universities, and other government agencies. Although EPA and NPS sponsor the
majority of sites, program partners play a key role in sponsoring individual CASTNET sites and providing in-kind services that support the overall operation of the network. These services are often necessary for the
day-to-day operations at sites. For example, partners operate site instruments, change weekly filter packs, and perform general site maintenance. Many program partners even provide the land space for the CASTNET site.
Several partners, such as universities, provide their expertise in air monitoring which is invaluable for improving CASTNET monitoring capabilities and collecting data that are valued by the scientific research community.
Expansion of the CASTNET network since 2001 has been largely driven by new participants and co-sponsors of sites.
CASTNET Site PAL190
The Cañonceta (PAL190, TX) site joined CASTNET in
2007 and is sponsored by the Texas A&M Agricultural Experiment Station.
PAL190 is located in an agricultural area
at an elevation of 3,500 ft. The site also sits on the rim of what is claimed to be the second largest canyon system
in the United States (Palo Duro Canyon). In addition to routine CASTNET measurements,
PAL190 hosts additional long-term monitoring stations, including an NADP wet deposition monitoring site (NTN site id: TX43),
and an NADP passive ammonia site
(AMoN site id: TX43). PAL190 also participated in the CASTNET
5-site ammonia study in
The PAL190 site had an unusual year in 2011. The Texas wildfires spread
to within 1 mile of the site in May, and the ambient temperature reached 112°F
in June (avg. June temperature is ~78° F). However, the wildfires and high temperatures were not enough to keep a Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid
(see left photo) and the mule deer (see right photo) away from the CASTNET site.
(Photos courtesy of Brent Auvermann)
Brent Auvermann has been the site operator since 2007, when
PAL190 joined CASTNET. When Brent is not at Cañonceta, he enjoys backpacking, climbing 14ers, hunting, golfing,
playing tennis and reading.
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