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Table 1.
Selected student hypotheses in an upper-level college limnology course and the data sets required to address each.
HypothesisRequired Data Sets
Runoff from snowmelt (or rain events) will increase turbidity, salinity, and pH as particles and ions are carried into the water. One site, (portion of) 1 year water quality 
Monthly chlorophyll-a measures will correlate with nutrients, since nutrients fuel growth of phytoplankton. One (or all three) sites, 1 (to several) year nutrients 
Water depth and dissolved oxygen (DO) will decrease before Hurricane Sandy due to outflow of river water, but depth, DO, salinity, and turbidity will all increase afterward as ocean water floods back in. One site, (portion of) year 2012 water quality;
NERRS and DEOS meteorology October 2012 
Turbidity changes will be higher in tidal than in nontidal parts of the river due to mixing and intrusion of “dirty” Delaware Bay waters. All three sites, 1 (or more) year water quality 
Diel changes in DO concentration will occur due to photosynthesis by aquatic plants, and these changes will be the same magnitude in all months of the year. One site, 1 year water quality 
Turbidity and nutrients will increase sequentially after each successive coastal storm in fall 2011, whereas temperature will decrease with each storm; both outcomes are due to more and more runoff entering the river. One site, (portion of) year 2011 water quality and nutrients; DEOS meteorology September–November 2011 
Nutrient concentrations will be higher in 2002–2006 than after 2006, when new regulations reducing runoff were implemented in the county. One site, 2002–2013 nutrients 
HypothesisRequired Data Sets
Runoff from snowmelt (or rain events) will increase turbidity, salinity, and pH as particles and ions are carried into the water. One site, (portion of) 1 year water quality 
Monthly chlorophyll-a measures will correlate with nutrients, since nutrients fuel growth of phytoplankton. One (or all three) sites, 1 (to several) year nutrients 
Water depth and dissolved oxygen (DO) will decrease before Hurricane Sandy due to outflow of river water, but depth, DO, salinity, and turbidity will all increase afterward as ocean water floods back in. One site, (portion of) year 2012 water quality;
NERRS and DEOS meteorology October 2012 
Turbidity changes will be higher in tidal than in nontidal parts of the river due to mixing and intrusion of “dirty” Delaware Bay waters. All three sites, 1 (or more) year water quality 
Diel changes in DO concentration will occur due to photosynthesis by aquatic plants, and these changes will be the same magnitude in all months of the year. One site, 1 year water quality 
Turbidity and nutrients will increase sequentially after each successive coastal storm in fall 2011, whereas temperature will decrease with each storm; both outcomes are due to more and more runoff entering the river. One site, (portion of) year 2011 water quality and nutrients; DEOS meteorology September–November 2011 
Nutrient concentrations will be higher in 2002–2006 than after 2006, when new regulations reducing runoff were implemented in the county. One site, 2002–2013 nutrients 
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