Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2008 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Collaborative Monitoring Networks in Support of Baltimore Ecosystem Study Research on Water-Resource Questions in the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Area
Koterba, Michael
Co-Authors: Michael T. Koterba, Edward J. Doheny, Jonathan J. Dillow, Daniel J. Soeder, and Claire Welty
Abstract: The U S Geological Survey (USGS) provides water- resources data and information to support research for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research Program. Historically, USGS data were obtained from 41 streamflow stations, 6 of which operate with at least partial NSF funding (Fig. 1). Under a current collaboration, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the USGS and Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (BC), MD, installed nine new streamflow stations, upgraded five stations, and added several precipitation gages (Fig. 2). A groundwater-level network also is being installed—20 sites, each with wells in the overlying saprolite and underlying bedrock (Fig. 3). Historical USGS data are used in the BES to address major research questions: "What are the fluxes of energy and matter in urban ecosystems, and how do they change over the long term?” and "How does the spatial structure of ecological, physical, and socio- economic factors in the metropolis affect ecosystem function?" The expanded network will be used to investigate and quantify streamflow and ground-water storm response in different land-use and geologic settings. The well network also permits future research on urban ground-water quality. The USGS also has engaged the Parks and People Foundation of Baltimore City and BES to develop outreach and education programs with BC parks and schools to address another major BES question: How can urban residents develop and use an understanding of a metropolis as an ecological system to improve the quality of their environment and their daily lives?