Mobile Water Quality Monitoring Ongoing Project

A cost-effective method of creating a database of water quality indicators in Northeast Florida is desired. Marine Science Research Institute (MSRI), Engineering, and Geography and the Environment will collaborate to build and deploy the waterproof monitors. Using this database, MSRI will make recommendations to governmental and private entities about ways to improve the water quality in the St. Johns River and other regional aquatic ecosystems.



  • Engineering, Geography, and Marine Science students are collaborating to design a mobile water quality monitor equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and sensors to measure temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and pH.
  • Once the optimal sensors and GPS unit are identified, Engineering will use a 3D printer to construct the waterproof device.
  • Geography students will use the information collected by the GPS monitors to create maps of the study areas. The students will also create a GIS (geographic information system) to describe the areas. The GIS allows for accurate mapping and characterization of the study areas based on data gathered by the mobile water quality monitoring units.
  • MSRI will use the information collected by the various sensors to create a database of water quality indicators. By analyzing these indicators, MSRI will assess the water quality in the North Florida aquatic ecosystems and make recommendations to appropriate governmental and private entities designed to improve our area's natural aquatic resources.

Industry and Governmental Involvement

  • Partnerships are being explored with private entities for whom water quality is a priority.
  • Students are working with governmental entities such as Florida's Department of Environmental Protection and the St. Johns Riverkeeper​ to obtain permits for the project and to ​identify locations to deploy the sensors.


Professors/Disciplines Involved

  • Quinton White, Ph.D., Professor of Biology & Marine Science; Executive Director of the Marine Science Research Institute (MSRI)
  • Huihui Wang, Ph.D., Asst. Professor, Director of Engineering
  • Ashley Johnson, Ph.D., Resource Professor, Geography and Sustainability; Program Director of Sustainability Program

Learn More

To learn more about the programs involved in this Collaborate JU project, visit: