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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2013  /  October 2013  /  Successful ECRC summer fieldwork programme

Successful ECRC summer fieldwork programme

Monitoring environmental change from Cornwall to Greenland

Successful ECRC summer fieldwork programme

Upland Water Monitoring Network

The annual Environmental Change Research Centre Uplands Water Monitoring Network (UWMN) summer fieldwork programme was undertaken this year by various combinations of Ewan Shilland, James Shilland, Handong Yang, Martin Kernan, Matt Owen, Jorge, Helen Greaves and former Masters student Helen Snell.

The first section involved sampling streams from Dartmoor in the southwest to Strontian and the Cairngorms in Scotland, collecting diatom samples, performing macrophyte surveys and downloading thermistors. A biological survey section was also set up at a new site, the Baddoch Burn, in Glenshee. Fish, water chemistry and physical measurements have already been monitored by Marine Scotland at this stream and the addition of diatom and macrophyte sampling completes the suite of UWMN measurements and extends the chemical gradient streams in the Network.

A second trip involved visiting lake sites in Wales, the Lake District and Galloway in SW Scotland. Augmenting the Network's climate monitoring, thermistor chains were constructed and deployed at all sites to augment the top and bottom thermistors that have been running since 1999.

The third UWMN fieldtrip involved servicing the lake sites in the Trossachs, NW Scotland, and in the Cairngorms. There was also an excursion in mid-September to survey and sample three streams and a lake in Northern Ireland.

Monitoring for the Water Framework Directive in England and Wales

ECRC and ENSIS staff (Ben Goldsmith, Jorge Salgado, Helen Bennion, Amy Burgess, James Shilland and Ewan Shilland), ably supported by various postgraduate assistants, undertook the latest stage of plant macrophyte surveys for the Environment Agency (EA) to support the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Forty sites were surveyed throughout England. Similar work was also undertaken at 16 sites in Wales for Natural Resources Wales (formerly CCW). ENSIS/ECRC were instrumental in designing and testing the protocols for this work, having been involved in the assessment and monitoring since 2007.

Sampling from Greenland’s Lakes

In early August Ewan Shilland was invited to Greenland to collaborate with Erik Jeppesen's group and the Arctic Research Centre at the University of Aarhus. The work involved tapper coring and collecting a suite of contemporary biological and chemical samples from a cluster of lakes close to the inland ice, about 100km NE of Nuuk, and at two high altitude sites SE of Nuuk. Finally, a series of lower lakes in Kobbefjord were sampled, part of a monitoring network run by the University of Greenland.)




Midnight view over high-altitude lake in West Greenland. Photo: Ewan Shilland