About Us

The Lake Observer app was designed to allow for easy submission of geo-referenced data, using a smartphone or tablet, including observations of weather (air temperature, precipitation, and cloud cover), water (temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and Secchi depth), ice cover, and aquatic vegetation (macrophytes, algae, metaphyton).

To get started, you will first need to create an account. To submit data to Lake Observer, you can download one of our mobile apps or get started by using our online submission sytem. Take a look at our guides to familiarize yourself with some of the features of Lake Observer. All data submissions to Lake Observer are publicly available and easily searchable.


Global Lake Ecological Observatory (GLEON) members began developing a mobile application for citizen scientists to record lake and water quality observations in 2010. The app was originally developed by computer and ecological scientists in partnership with citizens working with the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) and Maine lake associations in the US. The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and partners are leading a project to further develop and beta test Android and iOS versions of the Lake Observer app for worldwide use.

In December 2014, GLEON teamed up with Esri and the US Geological Survey (USGS) as part of the White House Data Initiative to further develop Lake Observer and create a crowd-sourcing platform to facilitate the collection and sharing of lake- and water-related information across the globe.

The project team plans to launch a pilot of the Lake Observer app in June 2015 and will be looking for GLEON research scientists and citizen scientists to test the app and provide feedback. Additional features resulting from the partnership with Esri and USGS are expected later in 2015.

Project Team

The Lake Observer app is the result of a collaborative effort of student programmers working under the direction of the project leadership team to develop the app.

App Leadership Team

  • Dr. Kathleen C. Weathers, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  • Dr. Kenneth Chiu, Binghamton University
  • Dr. Holly A. Ewing, Bates College

Project Co-ordinator

  • Lisa Borre, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies


  • Michael Forcella (Android, iOS, web development), SUNY New Paltz (M.S. 2017)
  • Ben Chrobot (server management, Android v1), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. 2016)
  • Brett Taylor (Android v1), SUNY Binghamton (M.S. 2010)
  • John Mihalko (iOS v1), SUNY Binghamton (M.S. 2014)
  • Prashant Bansal (web development), SUNY Binghamton (M.S. 2016)
  • Benny Mei (web development), SUNY Binghamton (B.S. 2016)
  • Linda Morales (web development), SUNY Binghamton (B.S. 2016)
  • Brian Gracin (web development), SUNY Binghamton

The project team thanks Dr. David Richardson, SUNY New Paltz, for engagement during the initial stages of app development.