Public Lab Wiki documentation

Open Water

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The Goal

Public Lab is working with local partners (the Mystic River Watershed Association, the UNH, Plymouth State, UMass Amherst, and others) to make water quality monitoring more open. Our current project has three main goals:

Open source water quality sensors and instrumentation

We're developing a low-cost, open source hardware device that will measure some of the most common water quality parameters , using a design that makes it possible for anyone to build, modify, and deploy water quality sensors in their own neighborhood.

An open data online water quality platform

We're working with hydrologists and water resource managers to create easy, accessible ways for communities to share water quality data.

Grassroots education, research, and action

We're bringing together citizens, students, researchers, and water resource managers to work on water quality issues that affect them locally.

The Plan

  1. Develop a basic water quality sensor prototype design;
  2. Develop a basic online water quality data platform;
  3. Hold an initial grassroots water quality workshop to identify next steps;
  4. Continue to improve and expand upon the sensor technology, the online data repository, and the citizen science network.

[See "Project Updates" below to see recent progress in these areas, and to find a way to join in!]

The Team

We've assembled a world-class team of researchers and water resource managers, and our network of contributors and advisors is growing rapidly:

  • Mary Martin - Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, Space, University of New Hampshire
  • Mark Green - Assistant Professor of Hydrology, Center for the Environment, Plymouth State University
  • Patrick Herron - Water Quality Monitoring Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association
  • Jeff Walker - Doctoral Student in Water: Systems, Science and Socity program at Tufts University
  • Ben Gamari - graduate student in Physics at UMass Amherst
  • Don Blair - graduate student in Physics at UMass Amherst
  • Paula Rees - Director, Water Resources Research Center at UMass Amherst
  • Jennifer Welbourne Science Teacher at Amherst Middle School in Amherst, MA
  • Catherine d'Ignazio - Research Assistant at the Center for Civic Media at MIT
  • Andy Anderson - Academic Technology Specialist for Mathematical and Spatial Data Analysis at Amherst College.
  • The Public Lab community!

Project Updates

We're currently crowdfunding a pilot project in the Mystic River watershed](, and we're looking for support:

Mystic River Open Water IOBY PIlot Project