NASA recently announced that the Lake Level Monitoring Project is one of 6 citizen science projects that will receive funding through its Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program. The nearly $1.5 million award will allow us to continue our project for 3 additional years. Our work began in February 2017, as one of 16 “prototype projects” funded under the program. During the “prototype phase” of the project, we worked with partners and citizen scientists to monitor the lake height of 13 lakes in North Carolina.and we showed that citizen scientists can provide accurate data for our project. We were also able to use photographs from NASA satellites to determine the surface area of those lakes, and combine lake height with surface area data to determine how the amount of water in our lakes is changing. With continued funding from NASA, we can now build upon the success of our first year.
Many thanks go out to NC State Parks, Croatan National Forest, Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, Winyah Rivers Foundation, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, NC Botanical Garden and all of the dedicated citizen scientists that partnered with us in our first year. The Lake Level Monitoring Project could not have could not have accomplished all that we have without them.
What’s Next For The Lake Level Monitoring Project?
We are extremely happy to continue our work for an additional 3 years. During that time, we will continue to study lakes in North Carolina, and will more fully understand them with multiple seasons and years worth of data to examine. But we will also use lessons learned from our first year to expand the Lake Level Monitoring Project. We plan to begin monitoring lakes in different parts of the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia. We hope to improve our website and make it easier to report and view lake level data, while sharing what we’ve learned with the communities that surround these lakes.
Exciting things are happening, and we promise to share them here, so stay tuned!