Project Overview

The University of Akron Field Station is located on the 411-acre Bath Nature Preserve in northeastern Ohio. It promotes a better understanding of our relationship with the natural environment through research, education, and service.

Students, faculty, and Bath community members have been working for some time to gather long-term, baseline data on water quality, biological diversity, and climate of the preserve. Project administrators have chosen to use the NexSens WQData web datacenter as a solution to help manage this long-term 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 and Control) data loggers that feature spread-spectrum radio telemetry. The data is transmitted wirelessly to a base station consisting of a PC running NexSens iChart software. iChart interprets the data and automatically posts it online to WQData.

WQData provides an online interface for viewing environmental data. It offers 24/7 instant access using any web browser. Specifically designed for environmental monitoring applications, it is easy to set up and maintain. The datacenter can be set up as a secure (password-protected) 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 can see measurements on a virtual instrument panel; they select panel buttons to view project area maps, recent and historical data, time series graphs, statistical summaries, and project-specific information.

Equipment

NexSens iSIC Data Logger

Specifically designed for remote environmental monitoring applications, the iSIC data logger offers superior data acquisition performance in extreme conditions.


NexSens AccuStage Vented Water Level Sensor

Available in stainless steel or titanium, the NexSens AccuStage water level sensor provides highly accurate level measurements in surface and groundwater applications.


YSI 6920 V2-1 Multi-Parameter Water Quality Sonde

The YSI 6920 V2-1 sonde is an economical logging system, ideal for spot sampling or short-term monitoring and profiling of temperature, conductivity, pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity.


LI-COR LI-200 Solar Radiation Sensor

The LI-COR LI-200 Solar Radiation Sensor measures solar radiation, suitable for measuring global sun plus sky radiation.


NexSens iChart 6 Software

iChart software simplifies and automates many of the tasks associated with acquiring, processing, analyzing and publishing environmental data.


NexSens WQData LIVE Web Datacenter

WQData LIVE 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.