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Floating Wetland in the Charles River


Term:

Summer

Department:

SEAG: Sea Grant Program

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Thomas Consi

Faculty email:

consi@mit.edu

Apply by:

July 9, 2020

Contact:

Lily Keyes, MIT Sea Grant Communications Specialist (keyes@mit.edu | 617-253-3461)

Project Description

MIT Sea Grant is collaborating with non-profit Charles River Conservancy and Northeastern University on their Floating Wetland project (thecharles.org/floating-wetlands/) and efforts to connect the community to river ecology and water quality. MIT Sea Grant aims to expand data collections and/or visualization of core concepts at the island that help to broaden education and engagement opportunities. We are looking for a student interested in one or more of the following areas: 1. Instrumentation of the wetland: Technology integration (e.g. install an underwater cam under wetland; build an Arduino water quality data logger; add LEDs to show water current or other data) 2. River biology, ecology and water quality: Translate science (e.g. data visualizations; communicate the research for outreach materials/tools) 3. Environmental education and outreach: Engage the community (e.g. create an interactive website; develop curriculum on the Charles and wetland; apply for MIT Community Service Fund) The 700 square foot structure was installed this June just downstream from the Longfellow Bridge. The Lower Charles River is a typical urban basin, where hard edges have replaced vegetation. This ecological intervention aims to reintroduce native plants to increase habitat diversity, increasing zooplankton populations and reducing harmful algal blooms, while also educating and inspiring the public.

Pre-requisites

Desired skills and interests: community outreach and education, tech integration (e.g. sensors, Arduino data loggers, underwater cams), data visualization, interest in river ecology, environmental monitoring, water quality.