Boyne River Research Project
Our goal is to improve model forecasts of stream flow and fish habitat in real-time with the help of citizen science data. The Boyne River, a stream in northern Michigan, is equipped with the infrastructure (CrowdHydrology) for citizen scientists to measure stream stage and stream temperature at various locations. As new measurements become available, a supercomputer at Indiana University calibrates the Boyne River model. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to represent the hydrology of the watershed and the ensemble Kalman filter for model calibration. This project offers significant opportunities to implement novel hydrological/ecological modeling techniques and study the interactions between participants and local model users.
The Boyne River hydrological model forecasts (one week ahead) discharge, water temperature, and fish (brown and brook trout) conditions based on stream temperature. These predictions are based on 7-day precipitation and temperature forecasts produced by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The Boyne River model uses these weather predictions to generate a 7-day ensemble of streamflow and stream temperature simulations. Stream temperature is then used to predict conditions (fish performance) for brown and brook trout.
CrowdHydrology is a citizen science network that collects hydrological data throughout the United States. Using five stream gauges located along the Boyne River, citizen scientists can send a text message with the current water stage height and stream temperature to a server located at the University at Buffalo. Citizen scientist started sending text messages in the summer of 2014 by providing stream stage observations. Stream temperature sensors were installed in the summer of 2017 near the stream gauge sites. The Boyne River hydrological model uses these measurements for model calibration and forecast.