URI scientist to operate nutrient sensing lab

Posted 7/25/12

NARRAGANSETT – University of Rhode Island oceanographer Al Hanson intends to use a share of a $2 million federal grant to the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems to operating a nutrient sensing laboratory at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography.

The lab will oversee the deployment, operation and data processing of nutrient sensors installed on buoys and other observation platforms throughout Narragansett Bay and Long Island Sound.

Historically, nutrient levels in Narragansett Bay have been monitored through the collection of water samples, which are later analyzed in a laboratory.

According to Hanson, a new technology has been developed using submersible chemical analyzer to measure the nutrients automatically and send that data in real time over the Internet.

“This technology hasn’t been fully implemented yet, so the grant will enable us to demonstrate that it can be done,” said Hanson in a statement.

The Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems received $2 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the second year of a five-year award.

The majority of the funding was distributed to operational and research partners to sustain the data collection and forecasting efforts of the program.

In addition to URI, the University of Maine, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, University of New Hampshire, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, University of Connecticut and Bedford Institute of Oceanography received a share of the funding.

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