I want to do some research at a lake on my college campus, and people here keep promising to put me in touch with someone who can help me, but they never really end up doing anything. I want to eventually: -map the lake for depth, creating a quality, displayable map -periodically measure water quality --things like dissolved solids/metals, oxygen, nitrates, turbidity, and temperature -record the life around the lake, plants and animals and such I know very little about this kind of stuff, but want to go ahead and start collecting data and working on this project so I can have findings to present, along with that map, in a spring research showcase. Anyone here know anything about this kind of stuff? It's not a very large lake. I believe I've heard the surface area is 22 acres. It's about 14 feet deep at most. No one knows much about it at all. There is one alligator, he's about 5.5 feet long and I've gotten within 20 feet of him but he's shy. (whichis a good thing...) I figure I can start by dropping thermometers in the lake, then once every few days go pull them up and see what the temperature is. Should I put one every 3 feet on the rope? What should I use on the bottom to hold the thing in position? I figure I should submerge the top of the thing by about 2 or 3 feet, at which point it won't really be visible. Otherwise, I worry that it'll get pulled out of the lake by some students. Anyone have an idea for how to do this simply, while still having it be easy to pull up? I was thinking I could use a few cinder blocks or something on the bottom, maybe just one. Then on top, use a small fender, and tie a large plastic hoop on the top of that which I could grab easily with a hook. I'm open to ideas and suggestions.... Why post this here? Eh, large diverse community of people, maybe someone here has done something like this before? Lake is located in Orlando, Florida.