The Terrestrial Environmental Observation Network (TEON) is intended to meet the need for a sustainable environmental observing network for northern Alaska. The TEON plan proposes collection of a time series of specific environmental variables in seven representative watersheds across northern Alaska. The Kuparuk River watershed is central to this plan both because of its location that bisects Alaska’s North Slope and its record of hydroclimatic data and research now surpassing 30-yrs. Nested catchments within and adjacent to this sentinel Arctic river system integrate climate and landscape responses from the Brooks Range foothills (Imnavait Creek and Upper Kuparuk River) to the Arctic Coastal Plain (Putuligayuk and Kuparuk rivers). This monitoring and research effort moves forward the critical initiation phase of TEON with surface water and meteorological observations and extends these observations to the crest of the Brooks Range with the inclusion of Roche Moutonnee Creek. The addition of Roche Moutonnee Creek not only completes this Arctic gradient, but also builds on historic streamflow records developed by the U.S. Geological Survey from 1976-1986 and current monitoring of flood peaks.
Additional elements of the TEON that have been implemented include hydrologic monitoring in the Hulahula Watershed of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Hydrologic and climatological monitoring in the Fish Creek Watershed of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and hydrologic monitoring in the Agashashok River, a tributary of the Noatak River in the southwestern Brooks Range of Alaska.