Southeast Alaska Stream Temperature Network
Stream temperature is a vital indicator variable for stream health and morphology, particularly in the context of a changing climate in southeast Alaska. The Southeast Alaska Freshwater Temperature Monitoring (SAFTM) Network consists of stream temperature sites managed by the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Southeast Alaska Watershed Council (SAWC) as well as other partner agencies, nonprofits, and tribes.
Mid-range climate change projections for Southeast Alaska indicate that mean annual temperature will increase by more than 3°C by the end of the century. This warming will be accompanied by an increase in annual precipitation of up to 10% and a decrease in precipitation that falls as snow of up to 40%. The goal of the SAFTM Network in this rapidly changing environment is to collect stream temperature data that meet the information needs of individual cooperators while simultaneously generating information that contributes to an understanding of regional stream temperature patterns and trends. The purpose of the network is to:
- Facilitate the maintenance and upkeep of existing stream temperature monitoring sites in southeast Alaska,
- Ensure the use of standardized stream temperature data collection protocols by network partners,
- Provide a centralized repository and quality assurance and control procedures for data being collected in the region,
- Develop a publicly accessible database for project data and metadata, and
- Develop new partnerships to increase stream temperature data collection capacity in southeast Alaska.
The SAFTM Network includes sites that span the five major physiographic provinces of Southeast Alaska from the southern outer islands dominated by Prince of Wales Island to the northern mainland watersheds around Yakutat. The network currently contains 60 stream temperature monitoring sites.