BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — University of Vermont researchers are going to use a National Science Foundation grant to study changes to the Lake Champlain watershed brought about in part by the increasing number of severe storms that have been hitting the region in recent years.
Vermont scientists will be joined by colleagues from Rhode Island and Delaware in sharing a $6 million grant to install a network of high-tech sensors that will gather data from underwater and transmit it remotely, giving a moment-to-moment portrait of what is happening across selected watersheds in all three states.
‘‘You can liken it to taking the pulse of the watershed,’’ said UVM assistant professor of geology Andrew Schroth, one of about 20 researchers involved in the project. ‘‘We can continuously monitor the biogeochemical pulse of the watershed.’’
The project will be led by the Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research at UVM.
The project will gather water quality and quantity data across all three states — as well as launch a network of lab and field-based experiments to investigate how the best way to policy makers could use the information they collect.
Understanding the information will have value beyond Vermont, Rhode Island and Delaware, said UVM biologist Judith Van Houten, the lead investigator for the project.
‘‘A goal is to allow policymakers and managers to accelerate their responses to storm events,’’ she said.
The collaborative will be called the North East Water Resources Network.