Researchers recruit drones, satellites in quest to understand cyanobacteria
In order to understand out how blooms have been changing over time, researchers need comprehensive, consistent measurements from lakes across our region.
Kathleen Weathers studies ecosystem processes within and among aquatic, airborne, and terrestrial systems.
She was co-Chair of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) for 10 years, guiding GLEON from its infancy to adulthood. GLEON is a world-wide grassroots collaboration of 800 research partners studying 150 lakes in 53 countries. Their aim: understand, predict, and communicate lakes’ response to environmental change using data from lake-based sensors. This work encompasses impacts from human activities such as road salting, agriculture, and climate change.
Weathers and her colleagues have created a new model for collaborative research that explicitly empowers early career scientists.
Weathers is an expert on fog, which carries nutrients, pollutants, and sometimes disease-causing pathogens. She studies links between ocean, air, and fog-dominated forests and recently, how fog may affect transfer of pathogens from water to land.
Ponette-Gonzalez, Weathers, students, and colleagues are studying the effects of mineral dust and black carbon – both of which impact ecosystems and human health. Mineral dust can deliver toxic pollutants to ecosystems and is a growing concern as climate change exacerbates drought.
Black carbon, created by burning fossil fuels, is known to cause lung and heart disease; this collaborative team is studying the role of vegetation in managing black carbon in urban areas.
Citizen scientists play a vital role in raising awareness about the health of our nation's freshwater resources. Their efforts can help document water clarity and track harmful algal blooms and other indicators of poor water quality instrumental to sound management.