Lake Tahoe app to help link data and people’s perceptions

By on March 18, 2015


An app developed by students and scientists at the Tahoe Environmental Research Center may soon help researchers gather important information about the lake, according to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. The smartphone app enables users to record data about Lake Tahoe’s nearshore environment.

The types of things that app users can report include water clarity, the amount of algae in areas, as well as beach conditions. Scientists at the research center say the app will also help to raise awareness and encourage beach-goers to take care of Lake Tahoe.

“We’ve been adding nearshore sensor stations that are underwater, gathering information about the nearshore environment,” said Heather Segale, education and outreach director for the TERC, to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. “We want to link people’s perception of that environment with the numeric data being collected.”

They’ll make that link by correlating the data reported by sensors already deployed in the lake with findings that citizen scientists around it upload to the app. “We’re curious to see if people standing on the beach can actually notice algae on the rocks, algae in the water,” said Segale to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. “And at what point do people start recognizing algae is visible to them perceptually compared to what the sensor says.”

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