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Project Type

URC Presentation


Innovation Scholars

College or School


Class Year

First Year


Environmental Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Chemical Engineering

Faculty Research Advisor

Savannah Devoe

Second Faculty Research Advisor

Diane Foster


We are freshmen at the University of New Hampshire, and we take part in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences’ Innovation Scholars Program. This program allows first year students to gain hands on experiences with cutting-edge technology used in various engineering disciplines; at the culmination of the second semester, students use their acquired knowledge to conduct a citizen science-based research project. The program has several research topics available for students to choose from; we are fortunate enough to be a part of the Ocean and Environmental Sensing cohort. For inspiration purposes, our class took a field trip to Hampton, New Hampshire to observe the “sunny day flooding” that is having major effects on the local community and ecosystem. When we arrived, we could not believe what we saw: portions of streets were underwater, white picket fences of shoreline homes were submerged, and concrete foundations of buildings were crumbling. When people think about climate change, they typically expect repercussions to occur in future years. For the people of Hampton, New Hampshire, the devastating effects are already transpiring. We have developed an instrument that we like to call AWQuaS, short for analytic water quality sensor. This unit will give Hampton homeowners access to live data that will aid them in designing and constructing their home foundations. A pH sensor will be included in the instrument because extremely acidic environments cause substructural materials such as concrete to dissolve. A conductivity probe that measures salinity will also be appended within the instrument. Salt concentration can influence the efficacy of materials used in solid foundations; therefore, it is vital that residents have access to this key piece of datum. An ultrasonic sensor will also be included because water level data is indicative of sea level rise. Lastly, a temperature sensor will be contained within the instrument, as ocean warming is becoming a global concern. As ocean climates continue to change in response to environmental degradation, it will be vital that coastal residents have access to data that conveys which substructural constituents are most feasible for their particular properties. We are proud to have developed an instrument that will help these vulnerable communities during such a challenging time in our planet’s history.