System-Wide Monitoring Program Coordinator
Photo credit: Lynn Ketchum, OSU
I coordinate and implement the NERRS System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP), which includes (1) meteorological and water quality data collection and analyses, (2) biological monitoring of plants (eelgrass, saltmarshes) and animals as indicators of changing estuarine conditions, (3) multi-tiered data quality control /quality assurance program, and (4) data analyses and syntheses contributing to understanding the effects of climate change and eutrophication on estuarine ecology.
South Slough is a collaborative partner of several monitoring programs, which I contribute to, including (1) NANOOS-the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing System where we maintain a network of water quality stations, in addition to the core four SWMP stations, which are also part of NANOOS (www.nanoos.org), (2) NOAA’s Climate Reference Network where we maintain a Climate Station at Fredrickson marsh (www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn), and (3) SeagrassNet, a worldwide seagrass monitoring effort where our monitoring data from Valino Island contributes to a global database of 126 sites/33 countries to track long-term status and trends of seagrass resources (www.seagrassnet.org).
I am also involved in understanding the relationship between estuary pH and ocean acidification given the unexpected rising pH trend we have recently detected in South Slough with our 17 year SWMP datasets and the coupling of estuary and ocean conditions, connections between the ocean and nearshore and estuarine habitats and conditions such as the influence of Pacific Decadal Oscillation and El Nino Southern Oscillation on estuarine water quality conditions, sentinel site development, and native oyster restoration. One hypothesis being explored for the increased estuary pH is South Slough may have a positive net ecosystem metabolism, or the overall estuarine system is dominated by production rather than respiration, driven by local increases in submerged aquatic vegetation, phytoplankton, and/or macrobenthic algal communities.
Frequency distributions of pH values from 2002 & 2011
at three SWMP stations along the estuarine gradient with
mean values for 2002 (blue) and 2011 (red) highlighted.
Linear regressions of pH data from 4 SWMP stations