Friday, April 13, 2012

Verification of ciBioBase Depth Output

At Contour Innovations we are our own skeptics and constantly perform verification investigations of BioBase output for accuracy. 

As Chief Aquatic Biologist, I've been comparing bottom depths sampled with a survey rod with its corresponding depth derived from the automated depth outputs from the BioBase System.  In the figure below depths from Elk Lake (Clearwater Co. MN) are color coded from 1 - 50 ft with blue becoming more intense as depth increases.  The circles are depths recorded with a survey rod while the squares are ciBioBase depths.  Below is one visual representation of the high agreement between true depths and BioBase depths. This visual shows the symbol color agreement demonstrating accuracy in the output! 

True depth data come courtesy of Minnesota Dept. Natural Resources Fisheries Research Biologist Donna Dustin and are copyright of Minnesota DNR.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ray Valley Joins Contour Innovations as Aquatic Biologist

Please join Contour Innovations in welcoming Ray Valley (RayV@ContourInnovations.com) to our team as Chief Aquatic Biologist. 

Previously employed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a Senior Research Biologist in the Section of Fisheries, Ray developed aquatic plant mapping protocols with acoustic technology and GIS, researched the link between aquatic plants and fish populations, and most recently chaired the successful launch of a collaborative and comprehensive long-term lake monitoring program called Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment (SLICE), Ray holds a B.S. degree in Fisheries from the University of Minnesota and a M.S. degree in Fisheries Ecology from Michigan State.

Ray brings a wide range of expertise to our team specifically related to aquatic vegetation mapping, GIS, and fisheries.   Our team is excited to have his deep technical background in aquatic habitat mapping using acoustics.  “We’ve only scratched the surface of what our platform can do both as a direct output and the benefit our users receive from a collaborative and uniform mapping effort,” said Matt Johnson, CEO of Contour Innovations.  “We will continue to add resources to ensure that Contour Innovations continues to push the boundaries in automated temporal and spatial mapping and Ray brings the expertise to go to the next level.”

Ray will be responsible for aquatic research using the ciBioBase System and providing technical mapping and research support for our empowered customers.    He will also be a keystone piece in designing and evaluating new features and valuable tools provided by the BioBase automated mapping system.  Ray will use his expertise to develop SOPs for and design mapping protocols for our customers’ unique mapping needs and to help maximize time on the water.
Ray has published the following selected list of articles related to submerged aquatic plant mapping and links to fish:

  • Valley, R.D. 2000. Effects of macrophyte structural heterogeneity and fish prey availability on age-0 largemouth bass foraging and growth. M.S. Thesis. Michigan State University, East Lansing.
  • Valley, R.D. and M.T. Bremigan. 2002.  Effects of macrophyte bed architecture on largemouth bass foraging: implications of exotic macrophyte invasions. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 131(2):234-244
  • Valley, R.D. and M.T. Bremigan. 2002. Effects of selective removal of Eurasian watermilfoil on age-0 largemouth bass piscivory and growth in southern Michigan lakes. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 40(2):79-87.
  • Valley, R.D., T.K. Cross, and P. Radomski 2004. The role of submersed aquatic vegetation as habitat for fish in Minnesota lakes, including the implications of non-native plant invasions and their management.  MN DNR, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Special Publication No. 160.
  • Valley, R.D., M.T. Drake, and C.S. Anderson. 2005. Evaluation of alternative interpolation techniques for the mapping of remotely-sensed submersed vegetation abundance. Aquatic Botany 81:13-25.
  • Valley, R.D., and M.T. Drake. 2005. Accuracy and precision of hydroacoustic estimates of aquatic vegetation and the repeatability of whole-lake surveys: field tests with a commercial echosounder. MN DNR, Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Investigational Report No. 527.
  • Valley, R.D., W. Crowell, C. Welling, N. Proux. 2006. Effects of low dose applications of fluridone on submersed aquatic vegetation in a eutrophic Minnesota lake dominated by Eurasian watermilfoil and coontail. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 44:19-25.
  • Valley, R.D. and M.T. Drake. 2007. What does resilience of a clear-water state in lakes mean for the spatial heterogeneity of macrophyte biovolume? Aquatic Botany 87:307-319.
  • Valley, R.D., M.D. Habrat, E. D. Dibble, and M.T. Drake. 2010. Movement patterns and habitat use of three declining littoral fish species in a north-temperate mesotrophic lake. Hydrobiologia 644:385-399.
  •  Beck, M.W., L. Hatch, B. Vondracek, and R.D. Valley. 2010. Development of a macrophyte-based index of biotic integrity for Minnesota lakes. Ecological Indicators 5:968-979.
  • Heiskary, S and Valley, R.D. In press. Curly-leaf pondweed and interrelationships with water quality. MN DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife, Investigational Report No. 557.
  • Valley, R.D. and Heiskary, S. In preparation. Short-term declines in curly-leaf pondweed across a network of sentinel lakes in Minnesota: potential influences of snow depth and water temperature. To be submitted to Lake and Reservoir Management.

Ray’s most research interests include lake ecology with specific emphasis on the interaction between aquatic plants and water quality regimes. 

He can be contacted at RayV@ContourInnovations.com