research program is not organized into individual
projects, but rather research thrusts. Each student will still
have her/his individual project, but the project is part of
the larger research thrust.*
E. coli Variability
To characterize the temporal and spatial variability
of E. coli., we plan to utilize automatic water
quality samplers (a.k.a. ISCO samplers). During the
observation period (July 1– November 30, 2005 & April 1
– June 30, 2006) samples will be collected (a) at 2-hour
intervals at Community Boating and (b) once-a-day from a
tourist boat using an automated water quality sampler.
The samples will be picked up and analyzed in
Northeastern’s lab for E. coli. and turbidity on
a daily basis. Data analysis will include trying to
understand what controls the concentration of E. coli.
in the Charles. Students will, for example, correlate
concentrations to rainfall or turbidity. The data will
be used to design beach management protocols and source
An automatic sampler will be placed at (A) Community
Boating for 24/7 sampling and (B) onboard a tourist boat
for spatial sampling.
Remote Sensing of Water Quality
It is expected that bacteria concentration correlates
positively with turbidity, which can be estimated from
satellite imagery (e.g. Hellweger et al., 2004). By
correlating bacteria to turbidity and estimating
turbidity using satellites the spatial resolution of the
bacteria concentration can be improved significantly.
This project includes correlating satellite reflectance
to ground-measured turbidity. Various ground
measurements and satellite images are available,
including an IKONOS image aquired during our
high-resolution bacteria/turbidity survey (see below).
The next step is to correlate the ground measurements
and satellite reflectance.
Say Cheese! The sampling crew (from left: Dan, Petr,
Ferdi, Craig) stand still for the IKONOS high-resolution
satellite on the Charles River.
In the long-run, the data collected in 05 will be
used to support the development of a bacteria forecast
model, which can be used to forecast which beaches will
be closed when. This project is a first step in
developing such a system. An existing hydrologic model
for a small watershed (e.g. Stony Brook) will be set up
in now/fore-cast mode and a web page will be developed
to serve the results.
Outline of a model-assisted beach closing forecast
Effect of Canadian Geese on Bacteria.
What is the effect of Canadian Geese on bacteria
(fecal coliform) levels in the Charles River? Are there
long-term trends in resident populations or migratory
behavior that could explain some of the long-term trends
in bacteria levels observed in the Charles River? This
project consists of gathering data on long-term trends
of various "factors", like Canadian Geese, Temperature,
Rainfall, XYZ? and comparing it to bacteria trends in
the Charles and other water bodies in the northeast.
Canadian Geese on the Charles River.
History of Stony Brook Sewer System.
The sewer system in the Stony Brook watershed has
changed in the past and continues to change as part of
ongoing sewer separation projects. We want to understand
the long-term dynamics and feedbacks of the sewer system
with humans in general and land use and transportation
in particular. To do that we need to first recreate the
history of the sewer system. This project consists of
compiling historical data (i.e. “as build” drawings) and
putting it into a consistent AutoCAD or GIS format.
Stony Brook today (from USGS).