Interactive Web-Based Visualization for Lake Monitoring in Community-Based Participatory Research: A Pilot Study Using a Commercial Vessel to Monitor Lake Nipissing

  •  Mark Wachowiak    
  •  Renata Wachowiak-Smolíková    
  •  Brandon Dobbs    
  •  James Abbott    
  •  Daniel Walters    


Environmental and limnological monitoring is of interest to government agencies, researchers, and the general public. In communities that rely on and are heavily affected by lakes and their watersheds, accessible and intuitive presentation of lake properties influences and aids decision-making, interventions, and the formulation of environmentally sound policies. In this paper, interactive web-based visualizations are employed as a mechanism to communicate environmental information collected from a commercial cruise vessel. A pilot study is presented for monitoring Lake Nipissing, a large culturally and environmentally important lake in northeastern Ontario, Canada. This example of community-based participatory research suggests that: (1) policy makers and researchers can quickly gain insight into what is happening in the lake through visualizations, which helps to direct subsequent, detailed investigations; and (2) through accessible, visual presentation, community members may be encouraged to become involved in contributing to environmental policies that directly affect them, thereby supporting environmental “citizen science”.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.