Using High Frequency Sensors to Analyze Water Quality and Macroinvertebrate Community Composition in the Anchorage Cook Inlet Region


Kaitlan McLallen

For this project, I will be analyzing trends in water quality and macroinvertebrate community composition in the Cook Inlet Basin ecoregion (Nowacki et al., 2001). Macroinvertebrates respond to chemical stream conditions throughout their lives, making them good indicator taxa for water quality (Resh and Unzicker, 1975 and Priawandiputra et al., 2018 ). By measuring continuous abiotic stream conditions, such as pH and dissolved oxygen, this research project will provide additional information as to how different levels of watershed development may be impacting urban streams and their macroinvertebrate communities. This project aligns with the specific goals of NASA, in particular, the Science Mission Directorate goal, that identifies the purpose of the Earth Science program as being "to develop a scientific understanding of Earth's system and it's response to natural and human induced changes." This directly relates to the goals of this project: Expand our knowledge of the abiotic urban stream characteristics, and their influence on biotic stream communities. This research project also aligns with the NASA Earth Science research objective to understand the "interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, land and ecosystems, including humans." The research from this project will further contribute to our understanding of urban stream ecosystems.


Name: Kaitlan McLallen, Undergraduate Student

Institution: Alaska Pacific University

Major: Marine and Environmental Science

Mentor: Erin Larson,

Award: Summer Apprenticeship

Funding Period: 2021