University of Vermont

Office of Undergraduate Research

Shelburne Pond Environmental Buoy Launched!

Buoy with High-Frequency Sensors to be Part of Global Network

The buoy will collect high-frequency data on weather and water quality every 15 minutes.

The Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory launched their new environmental buoy monitoring system on Shelburne Pond, Vermont. The system, built by Greensea Systems with funds from the Kelsey Trust and the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, records data on water quality and weather every fifteen minutes. Data are telecommunicated to the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative where data will be posted soon for public viewing in near real time. The system was deployed on April 21 and will continue to collect data until late November before the pond freezes for the winter.

The buoy will be part of the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network, or GLEON, a grass roots organization that "conducts innovative science by sharing and interpreting high-resolution sensor data to understand, predict and communicate the role and response of lakes in a changing global environment". Inclusion in the network provides a global context for research and teaching on Shelburne Pond.

Shelburne Pond is a hyper-eutrophic system - extremely productive with extensive and intensive blue-green algae blooms from early summer into the fall. The pond offers a number of interesting research questions and provides opportunities for students of all ages to learn about lake ecology. A number of classes at the University of Vermont conduct field laboratories on the pond, including Fisheries Biology and Techniques, Limnology, and Environmental Quantitative Analysis. In addition to learning about the biological, chemical, and physical properties of Shelburne Pond, the buoy will provide opportunities for students to gain practical, hands-on experience working with "big data".