2017 - NECC
RACER Pre-proposal Proposal

Name: Dr. Jasmine Saros
Institution/Firm: University of Maine
Address: 137 Sawyer
Orono, ME 04469
Email: jasmine.saros@maine.edu
Telephone: (207) 581-2112
Project Title: Developing a Cyber-Enabled Northeastern Monitored Lake Temperature (MeLT) Network
Abstract: We propose the development of a regional, cyber-enabled consortium focused on monitored lake temperature data. Temperature probes have been deployed in several lakes across Maine by various investigators, and we suspect that investigators in other NECC states have also deployed probes in their lake ecosystems. Changes in lake temperatures can provide important insight into the effects of climate change on lake ecosystems. While much is known about changes in ice-off dates across New England, less is known about changes in summer water temperatures. A key need, however, in analyzing temperature trends is improved data management and data visualization. To address this need, we propose to develop a shared database through the use of the resources of the University of Maine Data Center. This will not only address this need but also facilitate the creation of the Northeastern Monitored Lake Temperature (MeLT) Network. This shared database of high-resolution lake temperatures will facilitate new regional analyses of climate-induced changes in this important feature of lakes.
Collaborative Project Details: Project Investigators:
Dr. Jasmine Saros, University of Maine-Orono (UM-O), Maine
Dr. Julia Daly, University of Maine-Farmington (UM-F), Maine

Project Overview - include goals, general expertise *: Water temperature is one of the most ecologically important features of lakes. The summer water temperatures of over 100 monitored lakes around the world have increased over the last century, raising concerns over declining lake habitat quality. Understanding patterns of water temperature change is therefore a key step towards providing sound information on habitat conservation in a changing climate. We know that ice off is occurring earlier in New England lakes, but we currently have little information on whether summer water temperatures, which are critical for fish health, have changed.

To address this need, temperature probes have been deployed in several lakes across Maine by various investigators. Each lake has one to three probes deployed in the water column, with each probe collecting data on a sub-hourly basis for a minimum of 5-6 months per year. A dozen lakes with three probes, each sampling every 30 minutes, will generate more than 1700 data points per day, and over 264,000 from May-September each year. Across multiple lakes, probes and years, this generates a large amount of data with an important spatial component, raising the need for improved data management and data visualization.

We suspect that investigators in other NECC states are also monitoring lakes temperatures with a similar high-resolution approach, and share a common need for improved data storage and management. By collectively using the resources of the University of Maine Data Center, this will not only address this need but also facilitate the creation of the Northeastern Monitored Lake Temperature (MeLT) Network. This shared database of high-resolution lake temperatures will facilitate new regional analyses of climate-induced changes in this important feature of lakes. It will also employ one person in this activity. As the use of environmental sensors has increased exponentially in the last decade, the skills to manipulate and manage large data sets from aquatic sensors are in high demand, thus this project will provide valuable workforce training for this person. We invite collaboration with investigators from other NECC states on this project.

Saros is a lake ecologist in the Climate Change Institute at UM-O who works on understanding climate-induced threats to lake habitat and drinking water quality. Daly is a geologist at UMF researching climate impacts on subalpine ponds.