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A "smart" thermistor string for continuous long-term temperature profiling in large water bodies is described allowing highly matched yet low-cost spatial and temporal temperature measurements. The sensor uses the three-wire SDI-12 communications standard to enable a low-powered radio or data logger on supporting buoys to command measurements and retrieve high-resolution temperature data in digital form. Each "smart" temperature sensor integrates a thermistor element, measurement circuitry, power control, calibration coefficient storage, temperature computation, and data communications. Multiple addressable sensors at discrete vertical depths are deployed along a three-wire cable that provides power and allows data transfer at regular intervals. Circuit, manufacturing, and automated calibration techniques allow temperature measurements with a resolution of plusmn0.003degC, and with intersensor matching of plusmn0.006degC. The low cost of each sensor is achieved by using poor tolerance thermistor and circuit components in conjunction with a 15-bit charge-balance analog-to-digital converter. Sensor inaccuracies and temperature coefficients are corrected by a two-point calibration procedure made possible by a standard-curve generator within the sensor, based upon the method of finite differences. This two-point calibration process allows in-field sensor string calibration in stratified water bodies and provides a means to correct for long-term calibration drift without having to return the string to a laboratory