GLOBE Projects

GLOBE Side Navigation

Hydrology Investigation Comparing Subsequent Collection Sites

Student(s):Andrew Nelson, Emily Blosser, Samarah Wilson, Poorva Petal, Taylor Briggs, Emily Greenlee, and Toria Laumann
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Educator(s):Sara Ellenberger, Michele Ann Hildebrandt
Contributors:Additional Teacher from Madison Plains High School: Michele Hildebrandt
Report Type(s):
Protocols:Water Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Alkalinity, Nitrates
Date Submitted:05/01/2013
Screen capture from presentation
This investigation was made in order to observe hydrology trends in the local water network. Working in compliance with the GLOBE program, water was collected and analyzed by high school students each month. The key measurements focused on were alkalinity, pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and nitrates. It was hypothesized that each factor followed a pattern that could be interpreted by graphing the changes occurring as water flowed downstream every recording period. Some predictions about their relationships were refuted, and others, confirmed. This research will serve as a basis for future analyses conducted by forthcoming classes.


Interesting project! What was the most surprising thing that you learned through this research?

Furthermore, It seems that there are quite a few additional research investigations that could come from this project. What would you study next, and why?
This project helped us take what we learned in class, and see how the factors influence and impact each other. For example how temperature and dissolved oxygen are directly related, and how the data changed as the water moved downstream. We hope samples will continue to be collected at these sites to see if results are consistent or to determine if factors such as drought, would impact the data. To continue and add to this study it would be interesting to see the data if next year’s class can collect every week. Also, we would like to be much more involved in a comparative study with Mr. Connick’s project in Mahopac High School, New York. This would be important to study because we are along similar latitude coordinates, therefore we could track climate changes and also see how our hydrology data is impacted at the different locations.
Thank you for your response! I'd love to see a collaborative project between your schools in the future - I hope you are able to do one!
Hello Andrew, Emily, Samarah, Poorva, Taylor, Emily, and Toria. Thanks for providing an interesting research project. As you were analyzing your data were you able to determine why there is a relationship between water temperature and dissolved oxygen? Why is dissolved oxygen lower when water temperature is high and vice versa?

If you were able to collect these data throughout the year (perhaps every two weeks) what do you think the data would tell you? Perhaps next year's class can pick up on your data collection at the same sites and continue building this data legacy. Consistency in the time of day that data are collected would also be important in looking for trends in data. I hope to see more data in the future.
Hello Gary!
From what we observed, the relationship between dissolved oxygen and water temperature had a lot to do with the seasonal changes. As the temperature lowered, there were less active living organism such as macroinvertebrates using the oxygen; and vice versa as the temperature increases, there are more active fish and macroinvertebrates using more oxygen.
If we were able to collect more frequently, we would hope see clearer trends and patterns in the data. We do hope that next year’s class will be able to use are same GPS coordinates to continue our data collection. Then in a few years it will be interesting to see if the trends continue or change in the data set. We were careful to collect during 11am and 1pm eastern standard time, however we did always collect on the same days; this is again something we hope to improve on the study for next year.