Dr. Maggioni and I discussed applying my knowledge of water quality from the Environmental Engineering class in a real world setting. This project is related to my long-term goals as I am currently pursuing an Accelerated Masters and this is very similar to the experience I will have in terms of the amount of dedication to research, relationships with other researchers and a relationship with a mentor who is a professional in the field I am studying.
On a daily basis I met up with my two
other Civil Engineering students who assisted in collecting the data. We
ventured out to the field twice a day. We typically went out at 10:30 am and
again at 3:30/4:00 pm. My field campaign consists of nine different locations.
Unfortunately, poison ivy was present at one of these sites so I decreased the
field campaign eight. These locations are all over the Fairfax campus. For
several weeks we would deal with the sweltering heat and humidity and walk the
entire campus several times. However just recently we have been fortunate
enough to communicate with facilities and they provided us with someone to
drive us around in a golf cart for our morning run.
The sonde has six sensors: pH, temperature, turbidity, conductivity, HDO
(dissolved oxygen), and concentration of nitrate. I analyze the data for
accuracy and upload it to water.vse.gmu.edu website. I spend my office time researching
and analyzing the data and finding the best approach to setting up the
telemetry system by communicating with the different corporations, professors
and online sources. This week I
experienced the actual impacts of the rainstorm on the Outlet at Braddock Road.
The Outlet reached its maximum capacity causing the excess water to overflow
the concrete wall and surrounding area. In addition, I witnessed the impact of
rainfall on the turbidity of the Outlet for after the large rainstorm the water
became very clear the next couple of days.