Sen. Griffo visits Potsdam's Clarkson University for tour of renovations
Friday, September 5, 2014 - 8:58 am

With Sen. Griffo, at left, are Clarkson President Tony Collins, Chief Information Officer Joshua Fiske, and Vice President for External Relations Kelly Chezum.

New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-Rome) recently visited Clarkson University to tour the most recent step in the evolution of Clarkson's Downtown Campus: major renovations to the historic Old Main building.

The project, initiated last summer, will house the North Country’s first “green data center” using IBM technologies and research facilities for the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, a subsidiary of Clarkson University.

Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries of Clarkson University is nearing the deployment of one of the largest real-time environmental sensing networks in the world -- the Rivers and Estuaries Observatory Network (REON) -- in the Hudson River. The project has had the support of New York State for a number of years.

This monitoring network and data management systems will advance river science and the stewardship of New York’s waterways. Clarkson’s scientists and engineers have developed better sensors that can be deployed at lower cost, making widespread and long-term river monitoring economical. In addition to hydrological info, a number of these sensor arrays can simultaneously monitor for dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, dissolved organic matter, petroleum hydrocarbon, turbidity, particle size, and salinity.

The newest $300,000 investment in REON by the State of New York, obtained with the help of Sen. Griffo, will support the data acquisition and analytical capacity of this new technology.

"After touring the Old Main building, I'm really seeing Clarkson's downtown campus coming together," said Griffo. "I am pleased that the university has found a new use for this historic building with the addition of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries. The grant I helped secure will help this group collect data from the Hudson River that will give scientists better feedback about the water, its ecosystems and the pollutants contained within. It's my hope that this information can be used to improve our understanding and our protection of this important natural resource."