Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Jamal Stevenson - Mississippi Valley State University
Co-Author(s): Raveen McKenzie and Ricky Dixon, Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, MS Steffi Walthall, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA
The 2015 Research Experience for Undergraduates Pasquotank River Watershed Team completed various tests along the tributaries and the river itself, adding to the previously gathered data from 2011, 2013, and 2014. The test points were derived during the 2011 Summer Watershed Team research project with four points added during the 2014 summer project. Results were compared with previous readings for analysis. Streams tested were the Newbegun Creek, Knobbs Creek, Areneuse Creek, Mill Dam Creek, and Sawyers Creek. In-house tests on this year’s samples continued to include pH, salinity, total dissolved solids, and conductivity. The pH Water Tester was used for testing pH, and the Pocket Tester was used to measure salinity, total dissolved solids, and conductivity. Air/water temperature, dissolved oxygen, wind speed/direction, and turbidity/clarity measurements were taken in the field. The Skymate Wind Meter was used to measure air temperature, wind speed, and wind direction. The MW600 Dissolved Oxygen Meter was used to measure dissolved oxygen. The Mercury Thermometer was used to measure water temperature. The Secchi Disk was used to measure turbidity and clarity. Excel spreadsheets were developed to look more closely at individual points and tests for each point. Past projects have used a general analysis of the entire stream to determine water quality. Steps were also made to research the development of an online graphing tool for analyzing the data at individual points over several years. Test results collected were added to a database developed during the 2014-2015 academic year at Elizabeth City State University. This database was connected to a data visualization page utilizing Google Maps. The results show that there were variations for the individual water quality scores, but the overall water quality score for all the tested water sources remained at a comparable level from previous years. Mill Dam Creek rose above the previous three scores of 48 (2011), 47 (2013), and 49 (2014) and achieved a medium water quality score of 57. Areneuse Creek improved in water quality with a medium water quality score of 60. Sawyers Creek became the lowest scoring waterway tested at 35. Knobbs Creek decreased from previous years with a water quality score of 42. For a fourth consecutive testing year, Newbegun Creek fell within the medium water quality range with a score of 65. Pasquotank River rose from the previous testing year’s score of 35 but still remained within the bad water quality range with a score of 45. The Lower Pasquotank remained the highest scoring tributary for a second consecutive year with a score of 85.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets; Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER); National Science Foundation.
Faculty Advisor: Jeffery Wood, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I enjoyed going out into the water and taking samples for testing. The outdoors made me feel very relaxed as I completed the field testing.