Crater Lake Limnological Studies Final Report
Science, including long-term monitoring, is an iterative process. Looking at the history of the 10-year program, concerns for the outstanding clarity of Crater Lake played a strong role in initiating the program. Conceptual models were developed to guide the scientific inquiries that followed. These models generated specific hypotheses to be tested. Results were used to answer questions and generate new hypotheses to direct additional inquiries through the long-term monitoring program and special studies described in this section.
The proposed monitoring program should progress in a similar dynamic fashion. The growing base of knowledge about the lake should regularly be reviewed, models that describe the structure and functioning of the lake should be revised based on this knowledge, and new hypotheses should be generated for future studies relative to this knowledge and relative to management priorities. Knowledge of the lake system has progressed to the point where some hypotheses about the lake should be tested with experimental studies, because data gathered experimentally often enables a more rigorous test of a hypothesis than data gathered through observation alone. In general, a dynamic, iterative monitoring program ensures that long-term monitoring progresses in an orderly fashion, in accordance with human understanding of the lake system, and in accordance with the value of the lake to society. It is important that the lake is protected from human-related impacts. Furthermore, developing an understanding of those components and processes that are common to lake systems will provide a basis for comparing and assessing the status and trends in lakes elsewhere, especially those already impacted by human- related activities. We will find the resources to wisely manage Crater Lake if we are dedicated to protecting this heritage for future generations.
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