Stroud Water Research Center and partner LimnoTech, Inc. will work with Amazon’s cloud computing arm to develop a portal for sharing and visualizing environmental data
Stroud™ Water Research Center today announced it has been selected as a winner of the 2021 Amazon Web Services (AWS) Imagine Grant, a public grant opportunity open to registered 501(c) nonprofit organizations in the United States who are using technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.
The grant will support the Stroud Center and partner LimnoTech, Inc. in developing Monitor My Watershed®, an environmental data sharing and visualization portal to build trust in water data by making those data findable, accessible, and interoperable across the internet.
Monitor My Watershed is one of several open-source web tools in the WikiWatershed Toolkit™ designed to help citizens, conservation practitioners, municipal decision-makers, researchers, educators, and students advance knowledge and stewardship of fresh water. It does so by providing users with knowledge of water conditions.
The online data portal lets users discover and map monitoring data and share and compare that data with the world. It currently hosts real-time sensor data from two other WikiWatershed tools: EnviroDIY™, a community for do-it-yourself environmental science and monitoring, and the Leaf Pack Network®, an international network of teachers, students, and citizen monitors investigating their local stream ecosystems.
Monitor My Watershed was named a winner in the Momentum to Modernize category, which recognizes foundational technology projects. The Stroud Center will receive $30,000 in unrestricted funding, $5,000 in AWS Promotional Credits, and project implementation support. Proposals were judged on several factors including the innovative and unique nature of the project, impact on mission-critical goals, and clearly defined outcomes and milestones.
“We are excited to offer Monitor My Watershed users around the world a faster, more responsive and reliable website hosted on AWS. We are even more excited by the new feature development that AWS unlocks,” said Scott Ensign, Ph.D., Vice President of the Stroud Center. “Monitor My Watershed users have increasingly diverse needs for how they interact with, use, and share environmental data. They rely on that data to make more informed environmental management decisions, learn faster, and create sustainable environmental outcomes. Monitor My Watershed empowers users to action, and we are constantly learning from them how we can make this tool even more powerful to serve their needs.”
To date, Monitor My Watershed is used by over 100 organizations around the world and has 676 sites with EnviroDIY Monitoring Stations, 31 sites that are a part of the Leaf Pack Network, and over 2 million data records from around the world.
“What sets this tool apart from many other data portals is that your data is discoverable not just in Monitor My Watershed but also through other portals,” Ensign explained. “This means that users aren’t submitting data to a black box; they are actually sharing it across a network of similar portals.”
Now in its fourth year, the AWS Imagine Grant program provides vital resources to nonprofit organizations looking to deploy cloud technology as a central tool to achieve mission goals.
“AWS was incredibly inspired by the innovative thinking we saw in the applications received this year. All of the nonprofits share a commitment to solving some of our world’s biggest challenges,” said Dave Levy, Vice President of Nonprofits, Healthcare, and U.S. Government at AWS. “We look forward to collaborating with our winners to help them build and reinvent new and existing cloud-based solutions that will make a meaningful impact on communities worldwide.”
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About Stroud Water Research Center
Stroud Water Research Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration and to help businesses, landowners, policymakers, and individuals make informed decisions that affect water quality and availability around the world. The Stroud Center is an independent, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization recognized as a global leader in the field of freshwater science, environmental education, and watershed restoration, with a secondary location studying tropical ecosystems in Costa Rica.