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Rivers and Estuary Observatory Network (REON)

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Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, a subsidiary of Clarkson University, has created the River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) to provide real-time watershed data for scientists, educators and policymakers to use for research, public education and policy development.

Modeled after ocean observatory networks, REON provides continuous monitoring of physical, chemical, biological and atmospheric data from points in New York’s Hudson, Mohawk and St. Lawrence River watersheds via an integrated network of sensors, robotics, mobile monitoring and computational technology deployed in rivers.

The data collection backbone of REON is a distributed computing network composed of many types of advanced environmental sensors. The first generation of REON I floating sensor platforms, first deployed in 2008, provided the technological foundation for REON II, an expanding sensor network of Real Time Hydrologic Stations (RTHS) and REON II water quality sondes placed in fixed positions on riverbanks and beneath the water’s surface. REON data, uploaded to the ‘green’ data center located in Old Main on Clarkson’s Potsdam campus, will help scientists observe changes in such variables as turbidity (cloudiness), chlorophyll-a, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity and PAHs (toxic petroleum compounds).

Continuous, systematic, comprehensive data from REON will allow for new insights into the movement of chemical or biological contaminants, protection of habitat for endangered fish species, and episodic weather events, among other critical information needed to guard public health.

For further information please visit any of the following websites:

Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries

Poughkeepsie Journal, photos by Karl Rabe


River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) research engineers William Kirkey and Christopher Fuller, Ph.D. deploy REON Sonde water quality sensor in New Hamburg, NY.


Beacon Institute President and CEO Tim Sugrue, Clarkson University President Tony Collins and Beacon Institute Chief Research Officer Jim Bonner attend REON Sonde deployment at White's Marina in fall of 2014.