Michigan Tech Alumnus, Apps Turn Ordinary People into Hydrologists

Adam Ward’s got a lot of helping hands as he tries to determine stream and lake depths in Iowa. Through CrowdHydrology.org, anyone can read the water level off a ruler (more scientifically, stream stage off a staff gauge) and text the numbers to an online database.

The citizen scientists are helping researchers elsewhere, too—New York, Wisconsin, Utah and Michigan—and it’s all the brainchild of Ward’s colleague, Chris Lowry, an assistant professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Buffalo.

“With budget cuts proliferating, I had to figure out how to measure streams in a cheap fashion,” says Lowry. “I got a giant ruler, laminated a sign at Kinko’s and set up the first gauge using Google voicemail and help from the USGS for the texts. It worked.”

For the full news story, see CrowdHydrology.

Published in Tech Today by Dennis Walikainen, senior content specialist


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