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Expansion of the NOAA CREWS Network

Expansion-noaa-crews-networkC-ARMS is currently under contract to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center to manage the installation of 7 coral reef monitoring stations around the Caribbean. 

Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) stations consist of a basic suite of sensors, plus additional ones as indicated by local research efforts. The basic suite of meteorological sensors measure air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, and rain fall. Photosynthetically available radiation (PAR) and ultraviolet radiation (UVR) are optional. The basic suite of oceanographic sensors measure salinity, sea temperature, turbidity, chloraphyl-a and phycocyanin, and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM)  Optional sensors can include PAR (at 1m nominal) and UVR (at 1m nominal), CO2, ADCPs, pH, DO, blue-green algae, and nutrient sensors.  In addition to these sensors, a data acquisition system gathers and averages the data, then transmits the hourly averages via satellite, radio wave or cellular to NOAA's National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS) data download facility at Wallops Island, Virginia and local recipients. The data are then acquired in turn, via automated procedures, for saving and processing at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) in Miami, Florida. Once the data arrive at AOML they are processed with a suite of expert systems which determine whether the data being received are within a reasonable range, and whether certain environmental conditions are conducive to specific marine behavioural events (e.g., bleaching). CREWS stations are part of the Integrated Coral Observing Network (thus ICON/CREWS).  Local and international partners receive daily summaries as well as alert bulletins for specific environmental events.

The CREWS system has been successfully used in modelling and alerts of coral bleaching conditions in the Florida Keys and the Great Barrier Reef, and it is NOAA's intent to expand this alerting capability to other coral reef areas, and to better refine and enhance its alerting capabilities beyond coral bleaching. The development of the CREWS coral bleaching and other coral reef-related alert and modelling expert systems are therefore of necessity dependent upon the expertise of problem domain experts, such as those who study coral bleaching, coral reef growth, etc. 

Base stations are configured on an YSI Inc. EM2000 Environmental Mooring Module and anchored in place by Environmental Moorings International (EMI, Inc).  Configuration guidance, installation, local use training and all dive support provided by Consulting for All Reef Monitoring Services (C-ARMS, Inc.) 

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Download PDF version (CREWS 5C's Station Brochure)