Although there exists a large body of work on efficient data collection in sensor networks, the vast majority of proposed techniques have not been implemented on real networks or thoroughly studied on real data. As algorithm performance is highly dependent on the characteristics of-the data being reported, it is very difficult to make suggestions as to the relative performance of any particular method. In this work we seek to compare and evaluate existing approaches to efficient data gathering in the specific context of environmental monitoring. We examine a choice algorithm that has not, to the best of our knowledge, been thoroughly studied on real data. We detail a number of algorithmic modifications necessary to bring it from theory to reality, and study the algorithm's performance in simulation using extensive traces from real world sensor network deployments.