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Lake Observer mobile app

Main Project Information
Presented By Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON)
Goal Monitor water quality in lakes and watersheds worldwide
Task Record observations about lakes, rivers and streams
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

The Lake Observer mobile app was designed by members of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) for both research scientists and citizen scientists to record lake and water quality observations. Lake Observer is part of a crowd-sourcing platform to facilitate the collection and sharing of lake- and water-related information across the globe.

The Lake Observer allows for easy submission of geo-referenced data, using a smartphone or tablet, including observations of weather, water (temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and Secchi depth), ice cover, and aquatic vegetation (macrophytes, algae, metaphyton). The app can be used on lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and other waterbodies.

GLEON teamed up with Esri and the US Geological Survey (USGS) as part of the White House Climate Data Initiative to further develop Lake Observer, including mapping and data visualization. GLEON has also partnered with the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) and USEPA, to use the app for the annual Secchi Dip-In event.

How to Join

Water quality monitoring volunteers, citizen scientists, research scientists and lake enthusiasts can participate in the project by installing the app on their smartphone or tablet. A sign-up form is included with the app or on the Lake Observer website:

Project Timing Participants can collect water quality and other weather-related data at any time, but this is typically done from May-October. The app includes a screen to record ice cover observations, so it can also be used in winter months. The annual Secchi Dip-In occurs during Lakes Appreciation Month in July, but Secchi Depth observations taken at any time of the year are appreciated.
Social Media
Materials List Smartphone or tablet, Secchi disk (optional), Water thermometer (optional), Water quality measurement equipment (optional), Weather station (temperature, wind, rainfall)
Ideal Age Group High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Per week
Average Time An hour or so
Training Materials
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags citizen science, ecology, lake, limnology, mobile app, monitoring, water quality
Project Updated 05/23/2018