State Water Resources Research Institute Program
Project ID: 2012MA318B
Title: Analysis of Charles River (MA) Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Using a Prototype submersible "Robotic Underwater Sampling and Surveillance (RUSS" vehicle
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: 4th
Focus Categories: Invasive Species, Water Quality, Education
Keywords: Submersible, SAV, blue-green algae
Principal Investigator: Jackson, Bruce Addison (MassBay Community College)
Federal Funds: $ 30,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 69,864
Abstract: This project utilizes robotic submersible technology to characterize submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) blooms in the Charles River (MA) at the organismal, molecular and atomic levels. Data from this research will be useful in devising methodologies to control SAV contamination in the waterways of Massachusetts and other regions of the Northeast. Our specific aims are to:
Analysis of SAV, water and riverbed soil samples from the Charles River will be conducted in the state-of-the-art Biotechnology and Environmental Science laboratories at MassBay. These multi-million dollar research facilities are considered "the most sophisticated and well-equipped undergraduate research laboratories in the United States."
This project will reveal identifying characteristics of SAV blooms at the macro- and molecular levels. Information from this project will enhance our understanding of the persistence of SAV and elucidate more effective processes for its control. Our submersible technology and data will be useful to scientific studies of any other urban river of the Northeast. Educationally, the project develops a replicable model based on project-based learning, which engages scholars who are underrepresented in science with authentic and relevant research that stimulates their interest in environmental science careers. In addition, the proposed project has mechanisms to disseminate the technology, data and educational model to a national community of scientists and faculty. Lastly, the formative and summative assessment component of this proposal is exceedingly rigorous and was formulated based on that used successfully for the Biotechnology Program at MassBay over the past fifteen years.