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March 4, 2022

Date: March 11, 2022 from 2 - 2:30 pm ET

Speaker: Adam Sepulveda, Research Zoologist, USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center

MBARI Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) installed in Streamgage
MBARI Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) installed in Streamgage

Summary: The USGS has been the Nation’s leader in monitoring hydrologic conditions through its national streamgage network; however, little work has been done to explore how biosurveillance could be integrated into this network. Autonomous, robotic water sampling technologies present an opportunity to overcome the resource demands associated with biomonitoring. Autonomous robots placed within the streamgage can conduct high frequency sampling, regardless of location, weather or the availability of human resources. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has pioneered a robotic instrument called the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) that overcomes the constraints of regular travel and work schedules, safety concerns with high water flows, and adverse weather. The ESP is a robotic device that can be programmed to automate water sample filtration and preservation of the captured material, or homogenize it for immediate analyses in situ. I will present results and next-steps from a multi-year collaborative effort between USGS and MBARI to evaluate how the ESP adds value to environmental (e)DNA-based biosurveillance for invasive species at USGS streamgages.

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