Water For The Future: Upgrading The Robinson Forest Stream Monitoring Network To Improve Quality And Assessibility

Grants and Contracts Details


The proposed project will upgrade the existing, highly valuablestream monitoring network at UK's Robinson Forest to permit real-timestreaming and archiving of streamflow and waterquality data online; and will also upgrade the existing Robinson Forest weatherstation (and add anotherweather station), which will stream weatherdatareal-time viathe KentuckyMesonet online platform. 1) Intellectualmerit: The proposed project willupgrade the existing stream monitoring network to enhance both data quality and dataaccessibility. Currently, the monitoring equipment is old and technologically obsolete, and requires asignificant amount of upkeep time fordatacollection and processing. The proposed upgrades will live-stream streamflow dataonline, dramatically improving data accessibility for PIs and otherinvestigators. The proposed upgrades will also add conductivity and temperature sensing capability to the network. Currently, these and otherwaterquality parameters are collected on only aweekly basis, which is relatively insensitive from awaterquality monitoring perspective. The proposed upgrades willallow collection of conductivity and temperature dataat 15- minute intervals, and will also allow live-streaming of these dataonline. Theseupgrades will improve the quality and accessibility of these data, improving utilization by both PIs at the University of Kentucky and visiting and collaborating scholars and scientists from otherinstitutions. In addition to upgrading the stream monitoring network, the proposed project will upgrade the existing Robinson Forest weather station and add an additional weatherstation. These stations will live -stream weatherdataonline via the Kentucky Mesonet platform, enhancing dataavailability forboth UK investigators and collaborators. These improvements will significantly enhance the ability of existing investigators and potential new partners to investigateimportant projects including 1) understanding impacts of surface mining on Appalachian streamflow and waterquality (and associated aquaticand riparian wildlife), 2) developing forest management guidelines forminimalstream impacts, and 3) understanding reference quality streamflow and waterquality in Appalachia. 2) Broader Impacts: the stream monitoring network at Robinson Forest is one of the most valuable aquaticresearch resources in the region, presenting opportunity to understand impacts of surface mining and forest management on freshwaterresources. The Appalachian region suffers from a legacy of impairment caused by surface mining and poorforest management, with far-reaching social, economic, and environmental impacts. The proposed project will provide one of the highest quality streamflow and waterquality dataresources in the region, which will allow forsome of the most sensitiveanalyses to date of impacts of surface mining and otherlandscape scale factors. Understanding these and otherwaterquality issues is essentialfor mitigating these impacts and successfully transitioning the Appalachian region away from the legacy of surface mining. Improved dataquality and accessibility will also dramatically improve utility of the stream monitoring network forcourses at the University of Kentucky, and improvepotential fordeveloping new collaborations with otherusers.
Effective start/end date8/1/181/31/20


  • National Science Foundation: $166,140.00


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