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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

It has been a great run. By my very loose estimate, we have logged over 7 million conductivity observations in New England's lotic systems. Even more data are still arriving! It will be a long time before the knowledge these data can provide has been thoroughly exhausted.

Like the systems we study, though, the LoVoTECS Network has always been subject to the environment. The funding agreement with our EPSCoR partners has run its course and it is time to wrap up our study. Rather than allow LoVoTECS to die a slow death spread too thin across too large an area, we are consolidating our loggers on and around the Plymouth State University campus. We can then use the knowledge we've gained to assist graduate and undergraduate students with hands on field research while setting in place an intensive look at small scale watershed dynamics.

We did hope for a second funding wind to carry LoVoTECS into further seasons and richer data. However, we are still looking optimistically forward. Understanding the movement of chemistry through New England's hydrology is of critical importance to the future of our region. With the help of our hosts and partners, we have advanced that understanding. The future is bringing change, but it brings also new and exciting ways to further these advances.

To keep up on our new directions, as well as the great research being done in closely related work, visit the Center for the Environment at As always intended, LoVoTECS data will remain freely available in perpetuity. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It’s been a crazy winter, but temperatures are on the rise, the lakes have completed their ice outs, and only dark, shelters ponds in scattered hollows remain frozen. The water is still numbingly cold, but we can now reach our loggers and we’re busily downloading data and changing our time stamps from the 15 minute over winter interval to a higher resolution 4 minute interval.

This was the first winter for our road salt study, and we’re very excited to see what the data tells us. We hope to add more on this in the near future after more of the data come in from the field.

It was great getting out to our hosts with the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District in Maine. I got to hear more about their sites and the water quality concerns they’re addressing Down East in cooperation with LoVoTECS. Their local area drains into coastal flats prized for fishing and clamming, increasing the importance of this data for their endeavors.

Owl Brook's silty bottom, bathed in spring sunshine.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hi Everyone!!

My name is Anju Shrestha and I am an Environmental Science and Policy graduate student at Plymouth State University working to determine event-based variability in Phosphorus (P) concentration in stream water across storm event hydrographs in the Squam Lake watershed. Prior to joining the program, I graduated from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal with a Master of Science in Environmental Science.

P is the primary limiting nutrient, essential for the growth of algae in most freshwater aquatic systems.  The enrichment of P in rivers and Lakes can degrade the competition between different aquatic plant species which affects the whole ecosystem. The increase in P can even lead to algal blooms or eutrophication and deteriorate the quality of water. The streams and Lakes of New Hampshire are relatively cleaner than in other places but we cannot ignore the possibility of their degradation. So, timely study on P can make us aware and save our streams and lakes from eutrophication.

I have selected three different tributaries to the Squam Lake as my sites of interest. They are tributaries present in the North Brook, Livermore Cove and Dog Cove. I will be using discharge and specific conductivity data from the LoVoTECS Network. I will collect the water samples by using ISCO samplers before, during and after the storm events. The sampling periods will be set to catch the higher intensity and duration of precipitation events. The collected water samples will be tested in the laboratory of Plymouth State University to analyze Total Dissolved Phosphorus (TDP), Total Particulate Phosphorus (TPP) and Total Phosphorus (TP). Besides that, the water will be tested for other important parameters like pH, turbidity, conductivity, etc.

I will attempt to find the relation between TDP, TPP and TP with runoff in the streams. My research will also try to find whether specific conductivity and temperature obtained from LoVoTECS network are useful for explaining the variability of P in the stream. If they are found to be useful, this can lead to future research on how they affect the variability of Phosphorus.

My work will help to raise understanding, fulfill the gap of knowledge on P present in the tributaries of Squam Lake and increase awareness of eutrophication which can degrade the quality of water and wildlife present in a watershed. It will also help to monitor the trend of P concentration in stream water to Squam Lake.

LoVoTECS site modified for discharge
Photo by Anju Shrestha