Since research began at Tanguro in 2004, it has become an important hub for both research and education around tropical agriculture and tropical forests.

Over the course of 2024, Woodwell Climate and IPAM Amazônia will be hosting multiple events to celebrate the research and impacts generated at Tanguro, and to mark the milestone of its 20th anniversary.

Science Symposium
Between 9-12 June 2024, Woodwell and IPAM will hold a symposium in Brasília, Brazil presenting research results from 20 years of research at Tanguro.

Woodwell Climate Summer Celebration
On July 31, 2024, Woodwell will host our annual summer celebration at our campus in Falmouth, MA. This year, many of the exhibits, displays, and presentations will share research and impacts from work done at Tanguro.

Please refer to this page for updates as more information becomes available.

January 2024

Sensor calibration, maintenance, and quality control are critical to producing good long-term sensor-collected data. Before collecting any data, we first needed to develop a database that could collect all of the continuous measurements from the sensors and enable potentially anomalous data to be identified and discarded. .

Project team members Tom Bernardin, Tanmay Agrawal, and Lara Gulmann led the development of a database that accepts Onset oxygen sensor data and replicates the calculations and adjustments that the Onset logger software (Hoboware) makes to oxygen measurements based on the water’s salinity and temperature. This ensures that we can compare our data with other communities of water quality monitors that use these same high-quality and widely-available data logging sensors. The new database makes it easier for us to identify data collected in the field that does not pass data quality standards.

Water’s dissolved oxygen content is critical to estuarine ecosystems—if the level drops too low, even for a short time, it can stress or kill marine life.

Measuring dissolved oxygen can provide key information about the health of an estuary. Dedicated volunteers with the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Baywatchers program have been measuring dissolved oxygen for over 30 years, sampling more than 20 times each summer at 200 stations across 30 estuaries.

However, dissolved oxygen levels can change rapidly over the course of a day. Low oxygen events can be caused by hot spells, or when windless conditions limit oxygen exchange between the water and the air. Lowest oxygen levels typically occur at night or very early in the morning when algae and aquatic plants are using oxygen and not producing oxygen by photosynthesis. Some of these lows are missed by our current sampling method.

New technology has produced relatively low-cost automated sensors that can continuously measure dissolved oxygen, taking readings every 1, 5, or 15 minutes. These sensors provide large amounts of high-resolution data, and a much clearer picture of an estuary’s health and threats to marine life.

As a new technology, researchers and conservation groups still need to develop methods to deploy and maintain the sensors, manage the large amounts of incoming data, and communicate complex data patterns to people who need the information.

Our Work

Continuous Oxygen Monitoring in Buzzards Bay is a collaborative project of Woodwell Climate Research Center, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Onset Computer Corporation.

The COMBB Project tests deploying continuous sensors to measure dissolved oxygen and water quality, engages volunteers with this new technology, and synthesizes the data in a way that is understandable and actionable for local residents, municipal officials, and state regulators who make decisions about water quality.

We will deploy sensors at multiple locations within the West Falmouth, Wareham River, Acushnet River, and Westport River estuaries. With two of these estuaries, we are comparing the performance of sensors placed at fixed locations with sensors deployed on mobile TideRider robots that move up and down the estuaries and up and down in the water column. The project team will develop new procedures to maintain sensors and to check, store, and display the measurement data.

Alongside our work with the sensors, we conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups to seek input from local communities:

Impact

Locally, COMBB will provide more detailed data on the health of multiple Massachusetts estuaries, and improve our understanding of how dissolved oxygen changes over time in these areas.

More broadly, findings from the project will be shared beyond Buzzards Bay and Massachusetts to help water quality monitoring groups across the U.S. develop methods and best practices for expanding the scope of continuous water quality monitoring.

Support for this project comes from a grant from the National Science Foundation Smart and Connected Communities Program and the Buzzards Bay Coalition.