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Automatic Weather Stations: Tools for Managing and Monitoring Potential Impacts to Coral Reefs

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With recent technological advances and a reduction in the cost of automatic weather stations and data buoys, the potential exists for significant advancement in science and environmental management using near real-time, high-resolution data to predict biological and/or physical events. However, real-world examples of how this potential wealth of data has been used in environmental management are few and far between. We describe in detail two examples where near real-time data are being used for the benefit of science and management. These include a prediction of coral bleaching events using temperature, light and wind as primary predictor variables, and the management of a coastal development where dynamic discharge quality limits are maintained with the aid of wind data as a proxy for turbidity in receiving waters. We argue that the limiting factors for the use of near real-time environmental data in management is frequently not the availability of the data, but the lack of knowledge of the quantitative relationships between biological/physical processes or events and environmental variables. We advocate renewed research into this area and an integrated approach to the use of a wide range of data types to deal with management issues in an innovative, cost-effective manner.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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