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Making New York’s Lake George the World's 'Smartest Lake'


Scouting locations on New York's Lake George for placement of new sensors
IBM Research Scientist Harry Kolar (right), Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer of the RPI Darrin Fresh Water Institute (center) and Eric Siy from The FUND to Save Lake George scout locations for new sensors that will be part of a three-year, multi-million dollar collaboration between the partners to make Lake George the world's "smartest" lake.

July 1, 2013 By

In the state of New York, one of the world’s most pristine natural ecosystems is being threatened. Road salt, storm water runoff and invasive species are harming Lake George -- a long, narrow lake at the southeast base of the Adirondack Mountains.

So to both understand and manage these threats, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM and the FUND for Lake George have launched a three-year, multi-million dollar collaboration, called "The Jefferson Project at Lake George."

This project, according to a press release, includes an environmental lab with a monitoring and prediction system that will give scientists and the community a real-time picture of the health of the lake. The facility, according to the release, is expected to "create a new model for predictive preservation and remediation of critical natural systems on Lake George, in New York, and ultimately around the world."

To gain a scientific understanding of the lake, a combination of advanced data analytics, computing and data visualization techniques, new scientific and experimental methods, 3-D computer modeling and simulation, and historical data will be used -- as will weather modeling and sensor technology. 

The monitoring system is expected to give scientists a view of circulation models in Lake George -- something they've not seen before. These 3-D models could then be used to understand how currents distribute nutrients and contaminants across the 32-mile lake and their correlation to specific stressors, according to the release. The models also can be overlaid with historical and real-time weather data to see the impact of weather and tributary flooding on the lake's circulation patterns.


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