About R/V Lake Guardian
Great Lakes Monitoring Surveys
The R/V Lake Guardian sampling season usually begins in late March. The ship and its crew are actively collecting data through late September/October of every year. This data is used to assess the general health of the Great Lakes system, to note any improvements that have been made, and to stay abreast of new problems that may emerge.
A survey generally involves sampling a standard set of parameters at 8-20 pre-established stations.Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the water column are assessed at each of these stations. For example, at standard stations, the sampling crew will conduct a CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) cast, collect water samples from several depths, tow a plankton net, and sometimes collect sediment for benthic community analyses.
Additional parameters are often measured in response to unique environmental conditions such as the area of low dissolved oxygen that is seasonally present in Lake Erie. The surveys that are scheduled for the upcoming season are provided in R/V Lake Guardian Schedule.