Project Title: HOBO RX3000 Nutrient Monitoring
Principal Investigator(s): Jacob Lacourse
Affiliations: Onset Computer – Director of Hardware Engineering
Summary: Nitrogen and phosphorous are essential nutrients for plants. Aquatic plants and algae rely on these nutrients for growth, allowing the plants to become food and habitats for other organisms. Too much of these nutrients, however, tips the scale of algal growth to a point which the ecosystem is not able to balance. The excess availability of nitrogen and phosphorous comes from anthropogenic sources and can cause algal blooms that inhibit oxygen availability to aquatic organisms, and especially to fish. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has identified nutrient pollution to be one of the largest and most expensive environmental issues affecting the United States and has initiated a challenge to manufacturers to produce a cost-effective method for monitoring nutrient pollution (specifically nitrates and phosphates). In response to this, and in recognition of our continued focus on protecting the environment around us, Onset Computer, manufacturers of the HOBO Data Loggers, has begun a project to monitor the nutrient levels in Waquoit Bay over several months.