SAWC will begin development of a stream temperature monitoring network in Southeast Alaska with funding from the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC)
Stream temperatures affect salmonid emergence, growth, and survival in freshwater stages of their lifecycle. In Southeast Alaska, climate change is expected to affect stream temperatures as air temperatures warm and hydrologic patterns shift. Understanding and anticipating these changes will be critical for predicting how salmon species and other aquatic resources be will affected by climate change. Although stream temperature is being monitored in many locations in Southeast Alaska, data collection is not coordinated across entities, and data sources can be difficult to identify and access. Additionally, there is no strategy to monitor important environmental variability in the region. With funding from the NPLCC, SAWC aims to build a network of organizations and support their efforts to collect stream temperature data in Southeast Alaska, and to ensure that the data are useful and accessible to management agencies, researchers, and local stakeholder communities.
SAWC will bring together entities who are already monitoring or are planning to monitor stream temperature, and groups who would like to be able to use the data. These include Cook Inletkeeper, the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), Tongass National Forest, Chilkat Indian Village, Chilkoot Indian Association, Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and the Southeast Fish Habitat Partnership. New partners are welcome! Scientists at UAS, along with interested stakeholders, will identify strategic monitoring locations to reflect important environmental variability in the region, and fill in the spatial gap that exists between coordinated monitoring in the Pacific Northwest and Central Alaska.
To ensure that data collected by the network are accurate and useful, SAWC and partners will develop a set of standards and protocols for monitoring stream temperature in Southeast Alaska. Groups conducting the monitoring will be trained on the ground to successfully employ these methods.
Sharing the Information
SAWC will make information about where stream temperature data are being collected, who is collecting them, and what data exist available through the Alaska Online Aquatic Temperature Site (AKOATS). In the near term, SAWC will maintain a database of stream temperature data, which will available upon request. Eventually, SAWC would like the data to be available for download on a publicly available website.
Information on current temperature monitoring sites monitored in partnership with other entities can be found here: http://www.seakecology.org/freshwater/stream-temperatures/
For more information on this project, contact
Rebecca Bellmore, Science Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Angie Flickinger, Executive Directo: email@example.com