The University of Akron Field Station is located on the 411 acre Bath Nature Preserve between the large metropolitan areas of Cleveland and Akron/Canton. It serves the needs of the people of northeastern Ohio through research, education, and service that promotes a better understanding of our relationship with the natural environment.
Students, faculty, and Bath community members have been working for some time to accumulate long-term, baseline data on water quality, biological diversity, and climate of the preserve as part of a world-wide network of field stations. Project administrators have chosen to use WQData as a solution to help manage this long-term baseline data.
In addition, Dr. Jessica Hopkins from The University of Akron has spearheaded a project to set up four real-time water quality and stream flow monitoring sites within the Nature Preserve. WQData allows researchers to compare this real-time data with historical data on a single, web-based user interface. This valuable information will improve monitoring capacities within the Cuyahoga Valley watershed and provide a better understanding of the overall environment.System Description
Four real-time water quality and stream flow sites are located within the Bath Nature Preserve. These sites feature YSI 6920 V2 sondes that measure water temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH and turbidity. NexSens AccuStage vented level sensors measure water level and LI-COR pyranometers measure solar radiation.
Water flow (or discharge) measurements are taken over time using a SonTek FlowTracker. This data is combined with water level readings taken by the NexSens AccuStage pressure sensor to create a stage-discharge relationship. The stage-discharge curve allows the user to determine the approximate flow rate from the water level data.
Data is collected using NexSens 4100-iSIC (Intelligent Sensor Interface & Control) data loggers that feature spread spectrum radio telemetry. The data is transmitted wirelessly to a base station consisting of a PC with iChart software. iChart interprets the data and automatically posts it online to the NexSens WQData web datacenter.
WQData is a secure web datacenter providing an online interface for viewing environmental data. It offers 24/7 instant access to project data using any web browser. Specifically designed for environmental monitoring applications, WQData is easy to setup and maintain. The datacenter can be setup as a secure (password protected) site or an open site for easy access by anyone with the web address.
With this web-enabled datacenter, students and faculty from the University of Akron experience the project on a virtual instrument; selecting panel buttons to view project area maps, recent and historical data, time series graphs, statistical summaries, and project-specific information.