The Adirondack Experience, formerly known as the Adirondack Museum, honored the Jefferson Project at Lake George with the 2017 Harold K. Hochschild Award at its annual benefit gala in July. Earlier this summer, the Adirondack Experience debuted a new 19,000-square-foot exhibit, Life in the Adirondacks, featuring the Jefferson Project.

The award is dedicated to the memory of the museum’s founder, whose passion for the Adirondacks, its people, and the environment inspired the creation of the museum and the establishment of the Adirondack Park Agency. Presented annually to recipients in a wide range of fields throughout the Adirondack Park, it honors their work to improve the region’s culture and quality of life.

“The Jefferson Project at Lake George’s research will have a global impact on freshwater ecosystems everywhere, and we want our visitors to leave with a new level of appreciation for the beauty, complexity, and fragility of the beloved lake, and all of the Adirondack Park’s lakes and rivers,” said David M. Kahn, executive director of the museum.

The Jefferson Project—a collaboration between Rensselaer, IBM Research, and The FUND for Lake George—combines Internet of Things technology and powerful analytics with science to create a new model for environmental monitoring and prediction.

“We are delighted to be honored by the Adirondack Experience. The recognition of the Jefferson Project underscores our mission to understand and protect water bodies throughout the Adirondacks and, ultimately, throughout the world,” said Rick Relyea, director of the Jefferson Project, professor of biological sciences, and director of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute.

The project is building a computing platform that captures and analyzes data from a network of sensors tracking water quality and movement. These sensor data are combined with other monitoring and experimental data to create a thorough understanding of the factors that drive the lake’s food web and overall water quality. Scientific insights and technology created for the project will not only help manage and protect one of America’s most famous lakes, but also will create a blueprint to preserve important lakes, rivers, and other bodies of fresh water around the globe.

The Adirondack Experience shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region in 24 historic and contemporary buildings on a 121-acre campus in the Central Adirondacks, and in free programs at regional schools.