M.S. Thesis: Development and Implementation of a Flexible System for Monitoring a Created Wetland (Great Kills Park, Staten Island, New York)

By Emily Ayers

Advisor: Professor Roelof Versteeg

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science
Columbia University

May 2002

A full understanding of the dynamics of created wetlands requires data of sufficient density to reveal the small-scale fluctuations that give rise to large-scale behavior. Wetland development ha s historically been investigated using irregular field observations, which often focus on patterns within the vegetal and faunal communities. As the behavior of vegetation and fauna is a result of the physical and chemical properties of the system, a more complete understanding of the whole wetland system could be arrived at if one could continuously monitor the controlling properties of the system.

A flexible multi-hub, web-based continuous monitoring system was designed and implemented for an artificial wetland in Great Kills Park, Staten Island. This system is unique in that it allows for easy reconfiguration of different sensor types over a series of hubs as well as the automated integration of the data in a relational database, which can be queried over the web. The data from this system show the temporal variations of the wetland. The system will be used for studying the long term evolution of the wetland as well as for educational and outreach purposes.

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