GLEON members have developed a mobile application for research scientists and citizen scientists to record lake and water quality observations. The app was originally developed by computer scientists and ecologists in partnership with citizens working with the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) and Maine lake associations in the U.S. The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and partners are leading a project to further develop and test Android and iOS versions of the Lake Observer app.
The app is designed to allow for easy submission of geo-referenced data, using a smartphone or tablet, including measurements of weather, water (temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and Secchi depth), ice cover, and aquatic vegetation (macrophytes, algae, metaphyton). Working under the direction of the project leadership team, student programmers Brett Taylor (first Android version), Ben Chrobot (current Android version) and John Mihalko (iOS version) developed the app. The project team launched a pilot of the Lake Observer app in 2015 that was tested in Indiana for use in the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) Secchi Dip-in event.
An updated Android version of the app was released in June 2016, and an updated iOS version of the app is due to be released by August 2016. Use of the app was opened up to all Secchi Dip-In participants and is being tested in Europe and beyond. Data search, visualization, mapping and download features are also under development in 2016.
The GLEON Lake Observer team invites research scientists and citizen scientists to test the app and provide feedback. App project partners and collaborators include: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Binghamton University, Bates College, Lake Sunapee Protective Association, Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, and Panther Pond Association. GLEON has also teamed up with USGS and Esri as part of a White House Climate Data Initiative and with NALMS and EPA as part of the White House Water Summit. Photos used in the app are by Midge Eliassen.
For more information, contact one of the project leaders Kathleen Weathers, Kenneth Chiu, and Holly Ewing; project coordinator Lisa Borre (see links in right sidebar); or visit the Lake Observer project website https://www.lakeobserver.org.