CyanoTRACKER will address a significant environmental issue important to Georgia inland waters, namely, harmful algal blooms. Accurate, cost-effective and targeted monitoring of these events is pivotal as the frequency and magnitude of harmful algal blooms have grown, particularly in summer months due to the combination of high temperatures, run-off and drought. The group of researchers from Department of Geography and Department of Computer Science at The University of Georgia, Athens plan to use CyanoTRACKER and encourage the community to provide their observations regarding the quality of their lakes by sending trustworthy, actionable information via online social media platforms such as Facebook and twitter. This community-as-sensors paradigm will act as the initial trigger for the traditional sensing infrastructure comprised of high resolution cameras and hyperspectral sensors deployed at the study sites. Data collected by these sensors will be run through models that produce an estimation of cyanobacteria concentration within the water bodies.
The project plans to engage students, community leaders, resource managers, and the general public via training, workshops, and social media in various aspects of the research starting from crowd sourcing to environmental sensor deployments, data acquisition, processing, and interpretation. The success of CyanoTRACKER will depend on you to pave the way for an early detection, rapid response system to lay citizens of impending risks associated with these harmful algal blooms.