Three best practices for successful remote data acquisition

Overview

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Cook Inletkeeper is a community-based nonprofit organization that combines advocacy, education and science toward its mission to protect Alaska’s Cook Inlet watershed and the life it sustains. The Cook Inlet watershed is the most populated and fastest-growing region in Alaska; it is also home to the state’s renowned wild salmon runs, some of which are at great risk due to climate and land-use change. Cook Inletkeeper has documented warm water in local salmon streams since monitoring began in 2002, with summer temperatures routinely exceeding state water quality standards established to protect spawning and migrating fish.

Fisheries scientists warn that high stream temperatures make fish increasingly vulnerable to pollution, predation and disease. Yet despite the association between warm water temperatures and reduced salmonid survivorship – there is little consistent, long-term temperature data for salmon streams in Alaska. Without such basic information, it is impossible to gauge the health of Cook Inlet’s salmon habitats and resources, and equally difficult to develop management responses to improve watershed resiliency to climate change

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Problem

Data Acquisition in large Alaskan rivers (and many rivers in general) presents unique challenges. Locations are often remote with no road access; further river environments pose many objective hazards to instrumentation that can compromise data acquisition. Previous temperature data gathering was done with single-point loggers that were often lost after deployment; of course without a real-time feed, this loss of data was not realized until the next annual visit.

Solution

BeadedStream has worked with Sue Mauger at Inletkeeper to develop a data acquisition system that collects air and water temperature data, and transmits this data in near-real time for storage and presentation on the web. The result is confirmation of data acquisition and the ability to respond if/when there is an issue with the data feed. In addition, these installations utilize BeadedStream Digital Temperature Cables and D405 Satellite data loggers which are low impact and low power, thus the required infrastructure needed for these installations is very minimal. While data is automatically stored and presented on BeadedStream’s website, BeadedStream was also able to re-distribute the data to Cook Inletkeeper’s website for re-branding and presentation to Cook Inletkeeper web visitors.

Location

Currently, monitoring is being done on the Deshka River in Southcentral Alaska and on the Anchor River on the Alaska Kenai Peninsula. sites are instrumented with real-time temperature monitoring. A third river, the Russian also located on the Kenai Peninsula, is with a third, tentatively planned for this coming fall. Please feel free to visit Cook Inletkeeper’s website for more information on their activities.


Products used on this Project

Heavy Duty Digital Temperature Cable (DTC)

00Cook Inletkeeper is a community-based nonprofit organization that combines advocacy, education and science toward its mission to protect Alaska’s Cook Inlet watershed and the life it sustains. The Cook Inlet watershed is the most populated and fa...