CITIZEN SCIENTISTS NEEDED
Submitted by John Chambers
Kawartha Conservation is looking for a group of committed citizen scientists and team leads who would like to take part in two water quality initiatives on Pigeon and Cameron Lakes this summer as part of year one of a three-year study.
The project will involve collecting water samples and taking water temperature readings once per month from the end of a dock or waterfront property from the end of May to August.
“We are looking for lakefront property owners surrounding both Pigeon and Cameron Lakes who want to take part in collecting valuable data and information about their lakes,” explained Water Quality Specialist Debbie Balika. “We are ideally looking for a lake team leader to help coordinate lake residents in the citizen science project, as well as volunteers from around each of the two lakes.”
“During the lake management planning process one of the identified information gaps was the lack of data around the nearshore areas of the lake,” explained Ms. Balika. “This project is in partnership with UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology). We will provide enhanced additional analysis by a PhD student.”
The data collected will provide Kawartha Conservation with baseline information for the lakes, particularly focusing on nearshore data.
The volunteers will need to take samples and record the information once per month for a total of four samples during the summer months. All of the training and materials will be provided to the volunteers, and each volunteer will also be provided with a copy of the findings from the data collected at the end of the three year study.
“It is really critical to get a good sample size from around Cameron Lake and Pigeon Lake in order to get a complete picture of nearshore lake health,” said Ms. Balika. “We want to make sure we are getting samples from a wide range of near shore areas from around both lakes so our data is reflective of the entire lake and not just one particular area.”
Ms. Balika explained that several factors from shoreline conditions, water flow, nearby tributaries, sediment and aquatic vegetation type and more can impact individual results, which is why it is essential to have data samples collected from all areas of the lakes and not just focused in one particularly area.
“We very much appreciate the volunteers who take an interest in lake management planning and implementation and hope to hear from a number of interested volunteers for this project,” said Ms. Balika.
The Pigeon and Cameron Lake Citizen Science projects are a continuation of similar citizen science projects that are taking place on Lake Scugog, Sturgeon Lake and Balsam Lake where volunteers have already been recruited.
For more information or to volunteer for the summer sampling project, contact Debbie Balika at Kawartha Conservation by calling 705-328-2271 ext. 227 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.