Ensign, S., D. Arscott, S. Hicks, A. Aufdenkampe, T. Muenz, J. Jackson, and D. Bressler. 2019. Eos, 100.
A swarm of Mayflies is spreading from the Delaware River basin, but we’re not talking about fish food. Instead, autonomous, low-cost, open-source EnviroDIY Mayfly Data Logger sensor stations are being deployed in streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, and stormwater infrastructure to measure water quantity and quality. Tethered by cables to sensors underwater, these electronic sentinels stand inconspicuously on the bank of the waterway and stream data to users in real time from the cloud. The Mayfly project started 9 years ago at Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Pa., in an effort to reduce the cost of sensor-based monitoring of streams and soils. Five years later, following successful development and application of the Mayfly Data Logger for environmental monitoring in Avondale, the Stroud Center shared the device with the broader research community, which has adopted it for a wide variety of applications across the United States. In addition to lowering the cost of environmental monitoring with open-source, do-it-yourself tools, the project has expanded to facilitate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; citizen science; and community-driven innovation, environmental modeling, and data sharing.