Free NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System Data Tool
A tool developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estuary data into the classroom. Students use these data to explore coastal challenges such as a hurricane’s impacts on water quality, rainfall impacts on oyster populations, and drought impacts on salinity.
Data originate at the 28 sites within NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System, where 1.3 million acres are set aside for conservation, research, and education. Each site has a system-wide monitoring program that covers water quality, weather, biological information, and nutrient levels. With a few clicks, teachers and students can view and download these data for up to 20 years at some locations. Users can compare two parameters such as air temperature and water quality on the same graph from one station, between two stations within the same research reserve, and between stations in different reserves.
Recent tool updates are making these data even easier to use:
- Color-coded stations to indicate which are real time, non-real time, and inactive
- Mouse pop-ups indicating active dates for stations
- Pre-selectable end dates when querying
- A “How to Access the Data” tutorial (seehttp://estuaries.noaa.gov/ScienceData/Default.aspx?ID=536)
These data are being used in the classroom to analyze short-term variability and long-term changes in estuary waters, which provides a better understanding of how change impacts humans and the environment.
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