Project Title

Using a Nitrate Sensor to Monitor Nutrient Concentrations on EKU’s Meadowbrook Farm

Presenter Information

Corey M. JenksFollow

Presenter Hometown

Columbia, Tennessee

Major

Environmental Studies

Department

Biological Sciences

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Jonathan, Malzone

Mentor Department

Geosciences

Abstract

Nitrate is a natural nutrient that is a part of any aquatic ecosystem, however anthropogenic impacts such as agriculture can increase these concentration. Regulating water quality is important to prevent potential harmful environmental impacts such as algal blooms. New environmental sensors for nutrients have been developed in the past few years, which make environmental monitoring for harmful conditions easier. In this research, I used a YSI nitrate sensor in order to track water quality. Testing was conducted at Eastern Kentucky University’s Farm site located in Waco, Kentucky. In addition to nitrate I sampled pH, Chloride, Temperature, Specific Conductivity, and Dissolved Oxygen. These test results have been recorded since July 6th of 2017 - present. Testing was conducted at 17 different sites that are located all across the farm. These sites included: streams, groundwater springs and manure lagoons. High readings of nitrate and other indicators stand out from background measurement levels in groundwater springs and certain locations in a cattle pasture. This study can raise awareness to the general public about water quality and not only inform them but possibly educate them as well.

Key Words: Nitrate, Anthropogenic Impacts, Agriculture, pH, Chloride, Temperature, Specific Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, Algal Blooms, Testing.

Presentation format

Poster

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Using a Nitrate Sensor to Monitor Nutrient Concentrations on EKU’s Meadowbrook Farm

Nitrate is a natural nutrient that is a part of any aquatic ecosystem, however anthropogenic impacts such as agriculture can increase these concentration. Regulating water quality is important to prevent potential harmful environmental impacts such as algal blooms. New environmental sensors for nutrients have been developed in the past few years, which make environmental monitoring for harmful conditions easier. In this research, I used a YSI nitrate sensor in order to track water quality. Testing was conducted at Eastern Kentucky University’s Farm site located in Waco, Kentucky. In addition to nitrate I sampled pH, Chloride, Temperature, Specific Conductivity, and Dissolved Oxygen. These test results have been recorded since July 6th of 2017 - present. Testing was conducted at 17 different sites that are located all across the farm. These sites included: streams, groundwater springs and manure lagoons. High readings of nitrate and other indicators stand out from background measurement levels in groundwater springs and certain locations in a cattle pasture. This study can raise awareness to the general public about water quality and not only inform them but possibly educate them as well.

Key Words: Nitrate, Anthropogenic Impacts, Agriculture, pH, Chloride, Temperature, Specific Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, Algal Blooms, Testing.