Lake Sunapee hosts international meeting of lake ecologists

Telephoto view from east shore of Lake Sunapee

Image via Wikipedia

GLEON = Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network, a grassroots group of limnologists, ecologists, information technology experts, and engineers who are building a network of lake observatories.

On October 10 – 14, 2011, more than a hundred scientists from twenty-four countries will meet at Lake Sunapee to discuss freshwater lakes and reservoirs, including what can be done to keep them healthy in the face of population growth and competing demands. The meeting is being organized by GLEON.

GLEON is working across disciplines and continents to advance a better understanding of how these ecosystems function, so we can preserve and protect them now and for future generations.” says Dr. Kathleen C. Weathers, a  scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York.

Lake Sunapee is home to one of the thirty monitoring buoys that are at the heart of the GLEON network. Others are deployed across the globe, including sites in Sweden, France, Ireland, Estonia, Canada, Taiwan, China, Brazil, Israel, and Australia.

These high-tech instruments record and send data, 24/7, about lake and reservoir conditions, such as temperature and oxygen levels. This information helps scientists and managers understand and respond to variables such as flooding, development, and introduced species.

“From pollution and development to managing fisheries–society puts a lot of pressure on freshwaters. Yet we depend on lakes and reservoirs for drinking water, recreation, and other services,” says Weathers, who is a co-chair of GLEON.

“GLEON consists of some 300 scientists and citizens who interpret, analyze, and compare data generated by a global network of buoys. Our goal is to understand challenges in lake and reservoir management, particularly maintaining water quality in the face of accelerating development.”

The 13th GLEON conference is being hosted by the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Prior GLEON meetings have been held in Israel, Brazil, and China.

Portions of the conference are open to the public.

On Wednesday, October 12 at 7 p.m., Dr. Justin Brookes of the University of Adelaide will address the global water crisis. Following his lecture, a panel of international scientists will review critical water quality issues, what scientists are doing, and how citizens can become involved. The program will be held at Mt. Sunapee Resort, Goosefeathers Lodge, Newbury.

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