The Watershed Science Laboratory's monitoring program is both an educational tool and important resource for watershed management. The purpose of the monitoring network is to measure and communicate water quality trends, and assess indicators of ecosystem health. These trends in data can be used to inform and improve watershed-based strategic planning and resource management decisions. In addition, the data we are gathering provide valuabe opportunities for students to explore real-world environmental data and conduct basic research into the relationships between hydro-climatic processes, human activity, water chemistry, biological activity, water quality, and ecosystem health.
The monitoring network utilizes autonomous data loggers which record data in real-time and wireless transmit the data to server where it will be accessible through this website in the future. The network consists of an automated weather station located on WSU's campus that records air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, rainfall, and solar radiation. The network also includes two stream side monitoring sites. One site is located on the outflow stream from WSU campus (aka Lake Ellie) and the other site is located along the main stem of the Tatnuck Brook, just south of Mill Street. The two sites record water level (an indicator of stream flow), water temperature, and electrical conductivity (an indicator of total dissolved solids) and cover the major sources of inflow to Patch Reservoir. In addition, the monitorin network includes a moored buoy in Patch Reservoir that monitors surface and bottom water temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, and dissolved oxygen concentration.
In addition, the Watershed Lab regurlarly collects water samples from Patch Reservoir, Tatnuck Brook, and its tributaries that are analyzed for nutrients using our automated discrete chemical analyzer,
Eventually real-time and archived data will be viewable and downloadable through a web interface at this site which is currently under development.