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Project Background

This project started in 2012 and uses fluorescent bulbs that emit mixed white and black light (F4T5BL; see stats sheet below) made by EIKO. We've used a number of different low-cost lamps that are powered by 4 AA batteries over the years with this specific light bulb. Unfortunately, these lamps cannot withstand the extreme heat and jostling of being on expeditions in Grand Canyon; lamps have an average lifespan of 42 days in the field (two Grand Canyon river expeditions) and break frequently. Battery life is an additional issue, using 4 AA batteries the lamps we are currently using only last 4 hours before a noticeable loss in brightness. This poor equipment has resulted in numerous instances of lost data and missing samples for our research. We seek a contractor that can provide durable lamps that work with our desired light bulb and have a battery life of at least 30 hours.

Problem Statement

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center collects data on aquatic insects to inform resource managers on the health of the Colorado River. As part of our monitoring, we collaborate with the general public in a community science project that involves setting out “light traps” that sample flying insects along the river during rafting trips (Figure 1). Light traps are rectangular plastic containers that river runners fill with ethanol and then balance a lamp on the short edge of the container. The light from the lamp attracts bugs, and the ethanol traps and preserves them. These traps are set out for 1 hour each night on river expeditions that range in length from 7 to 23 days. At the conclusion of these expeditions, samples are returned to our laboratory for processing and analysis.