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Data Analysis

What data from the vessels are available?

On a majority of the trips of the D. J. Angus and the W. G. Jackson, a data sheet is prepared listing information about all the parameters that were measured. At the end of a season, these data are entered into an Excel spreadsheet. Information is available on the sampling date, location, latitude, longitude, and depth at each sampling site. Both top and bottom measurements are available for turbidity, conductivity, temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen. Secchi disk readings, Forel-Ule color scale numbers, listing of benthic organisms, relative plankton density, and sediment types are also in the data set. Alkalinity and nitrate measurements are listed when they have been taken.

Where are the data found?

The Annis Water Resources Institute maintains databases of student generated data that go back to 1986 for the D. J. Angus and to 1996 for the W. G. Jackson. These data are for educational use only. AWRI has other data sets for research purposes. Requests for data can be made by contacting AWRI at (616) 331-3048.

What can be done with the data?

Data analysis is a logical extension the vessel experience. For instance, a statistics student analyzed a year of data for several locations and determined trends. Classes have used the data for hypothesis testing and to understand how water quality parameters vary by location and season. A variety of statistical measures, charts, and graphs can be generated using the data. GVSU statistics students have used the data for their class projects.

An example of use of the data can be found at Dr. Videtich's Living with the Great Lakes website. This site was developed to assist students and educators in learning about the Great Lakes. The Internet contains many useful sites; however, finding desired information can be very time consuming. One of the intentions of this site is to save users time by indexing some of the more useful Great Lakes sites into a relatively detailed directory. The site also contains information on a few basic earth science concepts that might be of interest to those studying the Great Lakes. Finally, ideas for lesson plans are given and links to others are listed. The website was created by Dr. Patricia E. Videtich and Erik J. Crooks.