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  1. Because of increased variability in populations, communities, and ecosystems due to land use and climate change, there is a pressing need to know the future state of ecological systems across space and time. Ecological forecasting is an emerging approach which provides an estimate of the future state of an ecological system with uncertainty, allowing society to preemptively prepare for fluctuations in important ecosystem services. However, forecasts must be effectively designed and communicated to those who need them to make decisions in order to realize their potential for protecting natural resources. In this module, students will explore real ecological forecast visualizations, identify ways to represent uncertainty, make management decisions using forecast visualizations, and learn decision support techniques. Lastly, students customize a forecast visualization for a specific stakeholder's decision needs. The overarching goal of this module is for students to understand how forecasts are connected to decision-making of stakeholders, or the managers, policy-makers, and other members of society who use forecasts to inform decision-making. The A-B-C structure of this module makes it flexible and adaptable to a range of student levels and course structures. This EDI data package contains instructional materials and the files necessary to teach the module. Readers are referred to the Zenodo data package (Woelmer et al. 2022; DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7074674) for the R Shiny application code needed to run the module locally. 
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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  3. Depth profiles of water temperature on 1m intervals from 0.1 to 9 m depth; dissolved oxygen at 5 and 9 m depth; pressure at 9 m depth; and temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, specific conductance, chlorophyll a, phycocyanin, total dissolved solids, fluorescent dissolved organic matter, and pressure at ~1.6 m depth were collected with a suite of high-frequency sensors at Falling Creek Reservoir (Vinton, Virginia, USA) on the 10-minute scale in 2018-2022. Falling Creek Reservoir is owned and managed by the Western Virginia Water Authority as a primary drinking water source for Roanoke, Virginia. This data product consists of one dataset compiled from water temperature data measured at multiple depths by thermistors, two dissolved oxygen sensors at multiple depths, pressure measured at one depth, and a YSI EXO2 sonde that measures temperature, dissolved oxygen, pressure, conductivity, specific conductance, chlorophyll a, phycocyanin, total dissolved solids, and fluorescent dissolved organic matter, at one depth, all measured at the deepest site of the reservoir adjacent to the dam. 
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  4. Discharge rates at multiple inflow streams into Falling Creek Reservoir (Vinton, Virginia, USA), Beaverdam Reservoir (Vinton, Virginia, USA), and Carvins Cove Reservoir (Roanoke, Virginia, USA) were measured manually using multiple methods from 2019-2022. Falling Creek Reservoir, Beaverdam Reservoir, and Carvins Cove Reservoir are owned and operated by the Western Virginia Water Authority as drinking water sources for Roanoke, Virginia. The dataset consists of discharge rates calculated using one of four methods: handheld flowmate, salt injection, velocity float or bucket method. Data were collected weekly to monthly from February through October 2019 at Falling Creek and Beaverdam Reservoir, and approximately monthly at Falling Creek in 2020-2021, and approximately monthly at Carvins Cove in 2021-2022. 
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  5. Abstract Globally significant quantities of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) enter freshwater reservoirs each year. These inputs can be buried in sediments, respired, taken up by organisms, emitted to the atmosphere, or exported downstream. While much is known about reservoir-scale biogeochemical processing, less is known about spatial and temporal variability of biogeochemistry within a reservoir along the continuum from inflowing streams to the dam. To address this gap, we examined longitudinal variability in surface water biogeochemistry (C, N, and P) in two small reservoirs throughout a thermally stratified season. We sampled total and dissolved fractions of C, N, and P, as well as chlorophyll-a from each reservoir’s major inflows to the dam. We found that heterogeneity in biogeochemical concentrations was greater over time than space. However, dissolved nutrient and organic carbon concentrations had high site-to-site variability within both reservoirs, potentially as a result of shifting biological activity or environmental conditions. When considering spatially explicit processing, we found that certain locations within the reservoir, most often the stream–reservoir interface, acted as “hotspots” of change in biogeochemical concentrations. Our study suggests that spatially explicit metrics of biogeochemical processing could help constrain the role of reservoirs in C, N, and P cycles in the landscape. Ultimately, our results highlight that biogeochemical heterogeneity in small reservoirs may be more variable over time than space, and that some sites within reservoirs play critically important roles in whole-ecosystem biogeochemical processing. 
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  6. Water column chlorophyll a was analyzed from 2014 to 2022 in seven freshwater reservoirs in southwestern Virginia (VA), USA, and one freshwater lake in central New Hampshire (NH). These waterbodies are: Beaverdam Reservoir (Vinton, VA), Carvins Cove Reservoir (Roanoke, VA), Claytor Lake (Pulaski, VA), Falling Creek Reservoir (Vinton, VA), Gatewood Reservoir (Pulaski, VA), Smith Mountain Lake (Bedford, VA), Spring Hollow Reservoir (Salem, VA), and Lake Sunapee (Sunapee, NH). Beaverdam, Carvins Cove, Falling Creek, and Spring Hollow Reservoirs are owned and operated by the Western Virginia Water Authority as primary or secondary drinking water sources for Roanoke, Virginia; Gatewood Reservoir is a drinking water source for the Town of Pulaski, Virginia; and Smith Mountain Lake is jointly treated by the Bedford Regional Water Authority and the Western Virginia Water Authority as a drinking water source for Franklin County, Virginia. Claytor Lake is utilized for hydroelectric power generation by the Appalachian Power Company. Lake Sunapee is a glacially-formed lake known for its oligotrophic water quality. The dataset consists of depth profiles of chlorophyll a samples generally measured at the deepest site of each reservoir adjacent to the dam. The water column samples were collected approximately fortnightly from March-April and weekly from May-October at Falling Creek Reservoir and Beaverdam Reservoir, approximately fortnightly from May-August in most years at Carvins Cove Reservoir, approximately fortnightly from May-August in Gatewood and Spring Hollow Reservoirs from 2014-2016, approximately fortnightly from May-August of 2014 in Smith Mountain Lake, sporadically from May-August of 2014 in Claytor Lake, and sporadically from June-August of 2021 and 2022 in Lake Sunapee. Additional chlorophyll a samples were collected at multiple upstream and inflow sites along tributaries to Beaverdam and Falling Creek Reservoirs in summer 2019. The water samples collected were analyzed for both phaeophytin and chlorophyll a to quantify and correct for degraded phytoplankton within the sample. 
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  7. Ecological forecasting is an emerging approach to estimate the future state of an ecological system with uncertainty, allowing society to better manage ecosystem services. Ecological forecasting is a core mission of the U.S. National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and several federal agencies, yet, to date, forecasting training has focused on graduate students, representing a gap in undergraduate ecology curricula. In response, we developed a teaching module for the Macrosystems EDDIE (Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry and Exploration; MacrosystemsEDDIE.org) educational program to introduce ecological forecasting to undergraduate students through an interactive online tool built with R Shiny. To date, we have assessed this module, “Introduction to Ecological Forecasting,” at ten universities and two conference workshops with both undergraduate and graduate students (N = 136 total) and found that the module significantly increased undergraduate students’ ability to correctly define ecological forecasting terms and identify steps in the ecological forecasting cycle. Undergraduate and graduate students who completed the module showed increased familiarity with ecological forecasts and forecast uncertainty. These results suggest that integrating ecological forecasting into undergraduate ecology curricula will enhance students’ abilities to engage and understand complex ecological concepts. 
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