FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY’S HARBOR BRANCH OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE is a research community of marine scientists, engineers, educators and other professionals focused on Ocean Science for a Better World.
Harbor Branch provides a “service” allowing organizations to collaborate on understanding how the Lagoon works and the human impact on its conditions. By combining real-time water measurements provided by Land Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory (LOBO) units with geographic information system (GIS) technology, the service allows policy-makers and other organizations with the vital information they need to make informed decisions on the Estuary and the Lagoon.
The LOBO network reports real-time on environmental changes in the Lagoon, modeling biological, chemical and physical phenomena, contributing to education and public outreach on the Lagoon. LOBO 1 is located in the IRL near the mouth of the Harbor Branch Channel (Link Port).
If you go to http://fau-hboi.loboviz.com on the left side you will see an outline of real-time data monitored by the LOBO 1, including weather and other phenomena such as air temperature, wind direction and speed, salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, nitrate and phosphate concentration and the speed of water movement, among others.
If you click on LOBOVIZ at the top of the screen it takes you to another screen where you can click on these and other variables and select a timeframe and you will be provided with graphics, which maps together the various variables and time frames you selected. The screen below is an example of mapping phosphate concentration and salinity for eight timeframes in 2013. Go try it, it’s pretty cool and a great tool for environmentalists.
Here are three examples:
Nitrates vs. Salinity
Phosphorous Concentration vs. Salinity
Harbor Branch was recently awarded more than two million dollars in state funding for the placement of an additional 10 LOBO units in 2014-15 that will help providing a service in understanding how the Indian River Lagoon works and human and environmental factors of how pollutants are generated.