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LIMNOLOGICAL OPTOMETRY: EXAMINING EARTH'S EYE
Bolgrien, D W. LIMNOLOGICAL OPTOMETRY: EXAMINING EARTH'S EYE. Presented at Recent Advances in Limnology and Oceanography Seminar, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, March 30, 2000.
In Thoreau's Walden, a lake is described as the landscape's most expressive feature and the earth's eye. Collectively, scientists are charged by society to assess, monitor, and remedy maladies of earth's eye in the same way optometrists maintain the health of the human eye. This analogy is incomplete (but it still serves as the hook for the presentation) because defining health and developing diagnostic indicators of it is largely unambiguous for humans, but very difficult for natural resources. This presentation will consider briefly how the diversity of perspectives (aka public policy) influence the definition and disgnosis of environmental health. This diversity motivates the continual cultivation of new information sources (aka research).
From this backdrop, three approaches in limnological research will be explored. Just as the goals of each approach vary, so to do the tools employed and spatial scale of applicability. In situ measures of water quality may most directly indicate resource health. But such data may only apply to the resource sampled. Surrogate indicators of water quality have been discovered by analyzing landscape and watershed characteristics. This approach is applicable over wide spatial scales but remains an indirect measure of water quality (or health). Combining the strengths of both approaches would yield in situ (direct) measures of water quality over broad spatial scales. Arguable, this is the promise of remote sensing. Whether this promise has been realized will be revealed. Recent advances in sensor specifications for environmental health assessments will be discussed.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
MID-CONTINENT ECOLOGY DIVISION
WATERSHED AND ECOSYSTEM EFFECTS RESEARCH BRANCH