Through a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of the Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC), we are developing a comprehensive statewide inventory of current and historic continuous monitoring locations for stream and lake temperature. This project is one component of the LCC’s strategy to understand potential climate impacts to freshwater systems across Alaska.
Stream Temperature Data Collection Protocols
The goal of this project is to define minimum (‘base’) standards for collecting freshwater temperature data in Alaska that must be met so that observations can support regional assessment of status and recent trends in freshwater temperatures and prediction of future patterns of change in these aquatic thermal regimes using downscaled climate projections. By identifying minimum data standards, our objective is to encourage rapid, but structured, growth in comparable stream temperature monitoring efforts in Alaska that will be used to understand current and future trends in thermal regimes. These trends will inform strategies for maintaining ecosystem resilience.
WHAT: This project is compiling a statewide catalog of monitoring locations using a common set of attributes. Future LCC projects will entail gathering the aquatic temperature measurement data.
WHERE: All waters of Alaska.
WHO: AKOATS hopes to gather data from federal, state, local, tribal, and non-governmental agencies monitoring aquatic temperatures. Please view our web map to see current inventory.
DATA CONTACT: If you have collected continuous stream or lake temperature data and would like to incorporate your sites into AKOATS, please contact Marcus Geist at mageist (at) uaa.alaska.edu or 907-786-6325.
WHY: The Alaska Climate Science Center and the Western Alaska and the Northwest Boreal LCCs led a two day workshop in November, 2012, which prioritized the creation of a statewide inventory.
HOW: A project technical advisory team helped to develop a basic set of core sensor site attribute metadata. The team was composed of climate researchers, aquatic ecologists, data managers, and scientists with significant experience collecting, processing and analyzing aquatic temperature data. The metadata use domains (“pick lists”) to summarize basic site information and allow users to compare sites across agencies and geographies.
WHEN: The project began in June 2013 with the initial inventory completed in September 2014. The project team will continue to update the AKOATS web map through Spring 2015 while it actively seeks new monitoring site information.