Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017NY240B

Otsego Lake Water Quality Constant Monitoring System

Institute: New York
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $7,105 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: Kiyoko Yokota, Paul Lord

Abstract: It has been well established that the changing climate is affecting water temperatures in lakes, which affect timing and amplitude of thermal stratification and nutrient availability for primary producers. Rising water temperatures are often associated with negative water quality outcomes such as the establishment and proliferation of invasive species from warmer climatic zones and harmful algal blooms (HABs), which are typically caused by cyanobacteria that outcompete other types of algae at higher temperature. To date, water quality studies in Otsego Lake have been limited to ice-free seasons. Through this project, a SUNY Oneonta graduate student and an undergraduate student will conduct limnological research, under the guidance of two SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station (BFS) faculty members, to supplement current water quality preservation efforts by collecting and analyzing year-round high-resolution temperature and light data for Otsego Lake. This project will also provide an experiential learning opportunity for SUNY Oneonta students enrolled in the Underwater Research Methods course. The collected data will be publicly available on the Otsego Lake Association website to raise public awareness of the dynamic linkages between the climate and physical and biotic processes within Otsego Lake, such as inter-annual variation in ice phenology and primary production. The data will also be contributed to relevant research projects carried out by the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) at local, regional, and global scales, which synergistically aim to better predict future changes in lake ecosystems around the world in response to the changing climate and to use such information to sustainably manage global water resources. It is critical that New York State lakes are well represented in these studies, and Otsego Lake is a prime candidate because of the wealth of existing data and research infrastructure.