Presenters and attendants at the 2018 Poster Session

Partnering with citizen scientists to understand urban pond water quality

Project Title Partnering with citizen scientists to understand urban pond water quality
PI Name Grace Wilkinson

PI Affiliation Center for Limnology
Project Description Lakes and ponds act as biogeochemical factories in the landscape by receiving nutrients, organic matter, and contaminants from the watershed and transforming, storing, or moving that material further downstream. The combination of climate change and eutrophication are modifying these processes and diminishing the ecosystem services that inland waters provide. The main goal of this project is to identify the mechanisms controlling nutrient cycling rates in hypereutrophic ponds which are under extraordinary anthropogenic pressure. To address this research goal, we are developing a citizen science monitoring program for urban pond water quality in the Madison area. The REU student on this project will work with our team to develop the sampling methods that will be used by the citizen scientists and lead the validation efforts for those methods. If there is interest, we also welcome assistance or leadership from the REU student in developing educational materials for the citizen scientists. Additionally, the student will assist the project team with water sample collection and laboratory analysis on the focal research ponds located around Madison. By the end of the summer the student on this project will gain valuable experience in sample collection, processing, laboratory analysis, and conducting independent research.
Qualifications Required Interest in working outdoors under variable weather conditions, comfortable being on the water, experience working a laboratory setting (experience gained through coursework acceptable), willingness to work closely with a collaborative team, interest in science communication and/or citizen science programs
In-Person Tasks Water and sediment sampling in various urban ponds around Madison, sample preparation and analysis in the laboratory, data entry, data analysis, developing educational materials (if interested)
Virtual / Remote Tasks none
Approx. Work Hours / Week up to 40 hours/week depending on the student’s schedule and other program obligations
Keywords lake, carbon, eutrophication, citizen science