Citizen Scientists Needed!

Posted by on Apr 22, 2013 in Home Recent News | No Comments
Citizen Scientists Needed!

Help measure Grays Lake water level as part of the Lake Observations by Citizen Scientists & Satellites (LOCSS) project.

What is this project?

LOCSS is a NASA-funded project which combines citizen science with satellite data to understand how the volume of water in lakes is changing over time.

The project is a partnership between the University of North Carolina, University of Washington, and Tennessee Technological University working with local partners to study lakes. By 2021, LOCSS will be studying more than 200 lakes in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Why is it important?

There are hundreds of thousands of natural lakes in the world, but probably only a few thousand of those are monitored. This project presents an opportunity to harness the power of volunteers & satellites to gather data that a single research team would be unable to obtain. In particular, we want to know whether the lakes are all changing together on a regional scale — so if the water volume in one goes up, the volume in another goes up — or are they being controlled by more local factors. We need your help to do this!

How does it work?

The LOCSS team provided a lake gauge, which is similar to a ruler, that was installed in Grays Lake at Jones Island Park along the north channel. A citizen scientist or passerby can read the level of the water against the gauge and report it by text message to a phone number posted on the sign. That measurement is then added to the LOCSS database and displayed publicly on the project website, www.locss.org

How can I get involved?

The LOCSS team then pairs those lake height measurements with lake surface area measurements calculated using satellite imagery to determine if the volume of water in the lake is changing.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer citizen scientist, or are a lake manager and would like more information, please email lakelevel@unc.edu.

For More Information or to view Lake Data, visit www.locss.org