Assessment and Monitoring of Estuarine Habitat Diversity: Developing the Tools to Protect and Restore Estuarine Habitats.
A. Tasks for the period- The primary goals for this work period were to acquire personnel related to the project and to begin development of the hardware components of the system. A thorough search was performed to locate an appropriate technician to complete the project, and an applicant was hired. Development of the multiplexer/controller system is nearing prototype deployment.
B. Work plan to accomplish tasks- Our work plan for this period was to first acquire personnel for the project. Hardware development planning was undertaken immediately with the assistance of Mike Lizotte from Yellow Springs Instruments (private sector partner for this project).
C. Concerns or difficulties- The major difficulties encountered have been in regard to developing the data processing core of the controller system. These difficulties have stemmed from the necessity to integrate certain off the shelf components such as the GPS subsystem and Sonar. These components can not reasonably be produced in a "custom" configuration due to cost and time issues, therefore, existing products must be adapted to our goals. We feel that these difficulties have been resolved.
D. Anticipated success in meeting project objectives in scheduled project period- We fully anticipate meeting project objectives in the scheduled time. Development of the system is fully under way, with a prototype system to be launched for field evaluation within the month. Our intentions are to test the system at both Masonboro Island in North Carolina and at multiple sites in the Wells NERR.
E. Preliminary data- At this time we have no preliminary data to present, since the first prototype unit has not yet been deployed.
Tasks and Activities for the Next Report Period.
A. Tasks and the next report period- The primary tasks for the next report period are to deploy and evaluate the prototype system and begin refinement of the hardware and systems used to collect the data. We will also begin development of the software and procedures for processing, analyzing, and presenting the spatial water quality data.
B. Work plan to accomplish tasks- Our plan for accomplishing the goals for the next report period are to deploy a prototype unit for extensive field testing. The effectiveness and practicality of the prototype will be evaluated and revisions for the system will be incorporated into a final design which we will produce in limited quantities for a final evaluation at multiple Reserves on a national level. Development of the data processing routines will begin as soon as initial data sets are available from the early field tests.
C. Concerns or difficulties- At this time we do not foresee any difficulties with meeting project objectives for the next report period.
Expenditures for the period have consisted of employee salary and resource acquisition related to the development of the hardware aspects of the project (such as board level components, microchips, test equipment, and development software.). Expenditures are as anticipated.