Sturdy Little Buoy, Tremendous Predictive Power

Northern Michigan University

Two solitary data buoys floating off the storm-tossed Lake Superior shore near Munising and Granite Island were sudden stars in 2017. That October, they captured the largest waves ever measured on the Great Lakes—each 28.8-foot high—during a storm that claimed the lives of two people swept off rocks. This attention-getting event shows how buoy data […]
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Monitoring An Active Thermocline, Rapid Changes

State University of New York (SUNY)—Plattsburgh

Beginning in the 1990s, researchers have collected samples manually every few weeks on trips to Lake Champlain to gather data on its dynamics. But the metrics the team has collected are spotty, considering the faster-paced changes fueled by a changing climate. To help fill in those holes, researchers from the State University of New York […]
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A New Kind of Sentinel on Lake Superior

Superior Watershed Partnership, Lentic Environmental Services and UC-Boulder

For more than 100 years, the Stannard Rock Lighthouse has kept a watchful guard over Lake Superior. But now, a new weather buoy is joining the watch in a remote part of Lake Superior, providing much-needed weather data to local mariners, the National Weather Service (NWS), and researchers. Scientists from the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP), […]
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Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area

Macalester College

Inspired by a passion for the outdoors and the local terrain that Katharine Ordway had throughout her life, the Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area (Ordway) at Minnesota's Macalester College is a study in diversity. To preserve the conservation legacy that serves as Ordway's foundation, its mission includes four pillars: education, research, sustainability, and civic […]
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Protecting Ohio River Wildlife

US Army Corps of Engineers

A complex series of locks and dams up and down the Ohio River enable interstate commerce, travel, and recreation. But maintaining a usable pathway for watercraft comes at a cost. The inevitable byproducts of disrupting the river’s natural systems are a threat to local wildlife. To combat this, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) […]
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Using Technology to Protect Tradition

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi (NHBP)

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi (NHBP) is facing the future with a firm grasp on tradition and a mastery of new technology to handle rapid growth and changes. Recognized as a tribe by the US federal government in 1995, the NHBP employs thousands in western and central Michigan. Since its inception, restoring its land […]
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Submerged Sensors of Sebago Lake

Portland Water District

Sebago Lake is the second largest lake in Maine—one of the only lakes in the nation with clean enough water for use by a drinking water facility without filtration requirements. Residents of the Greater Portland area are the beneficiaries, and they are invested in maintaining their lake's health. A joint project between the Portland Water […]
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The Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS)

Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI)

Corals around the world are under threat. The buoys of the Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) help face that threat, providing the entire world with weather patterns and data about climate change from their home in the Caribbean Sea. Since June 2018, a new, state-of-the-art oceanographic buoy has added ocean state and weather data […]
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Lighter Buoys Mean Quicker, In-House Responses

NOAA Chesapeake Bay

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office runs an unusual set of buoys. NOAA’s Chesapeake buoys originated as part of the John Smith Water Trail—a kind of aquatic Appalachian Trail for boaters. Although the buoys are no longer used as interpretive trail markers, they are now part of a larger observing system of 10 full-time stations. Challenge: […]
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cellular data logger stone lab buoy

Stone Lab Buoy Tracks Algae

Ohio State University

Even before the Toledo Water Crisis, researchers at Stone Lab were concerned with the algae blooming in Lake Erie. With their location on the lake’s Gibraltar Island, it was easy for them to see the tides whipping up green stuff each day in the summer months. So long before the crisis, which took place in […]
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