Public Lab Research note

Coqui Conductivity Detector Proves Reliable During SoBe King Tide

by mastfiubbc | October 16, 2014 14:42 16 Oct 14:42 | #11266 | #11266

King Tide has historically been a tremendous problem in South Beach (SoBe), Florida because of the flooding that often occurs along roadways and in residential areas as a result of the high tide. Public concern over the flooding in recent years prompted 35 students from MAST @ FIU in North Miami, FL to assemble, calibrate and field test Coqui conductivity detectors, developed by Public Labs, so they could be used to measure the conductivity of road water that resulted from the high tide. The device proved to be reliable and easy to use; however, the sound emitted from the device was difficult to hear when they were used in the field so students downloaded a free sound frequency app from the internet that enabled them to convert sound into a numerical and visual representation of the sound's frequency. The students further refined this approach as they calibrated the device using standardized saline solutions. The relationship established between sound and frequency made the data produced more quantitative rather than qualitative. The students, some of whom had never assembled an electronic device found the experience very educationally rewarding. The occurrence of the high tide on SoBe prompted participation from politicians, reporters and Gina McCarthy from the EPA. They were both interested and intrigued by the students, their use of the device and how well they could speak about salinity and the tidal event.


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