Mangroves, maintenance, monitoring, oh my!

By Shannon Dunnigan

This was a very productive week for us here at the GTM. We were finally able to make it out to our weather station on Tuesday; our first trip back since before Hurricane Matthew. We arrived to find that our station not only survived the storm, but had no other damages! Phew! We had almost two months of data to download, which, considering our station takes a reading every 15 minutes, is a LOT of data!

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We also made progress in getting the real time telemetry set up at our Pellicer Creek water quality site in Faver-Dykes State Park. The station was previously telemetered, but has been down since we switched to using the new EXO2 datasondes at our water quality sites. We had to install a new cable  that will connect the computer and satellite to the datasonde located in the water. However, upon wiring the new set-up, we discovered that our battery had died in the station! Isn’t that just typical? We hope to get everything back up and running within the next few weeks. You’ll be able to view our stations (our weather station is telemetered now!) using the Real Time Data Application through the NERRs Centralized Data Management Office.

We conducted vegetation monitoring in the Summerhaven/Matanzas River area throughout this week as well. We used similar methods to our emergent vegetation monitoring to assess the vegetation communities in that region. This area has a lot more mangroves present than in our northern component of the Reserve! We were even joined by some of our fellow researchers and friends at UF’s Whitney Laboratory. Collaborative field explorations are certainly some of our favorites!

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