reu omps 2013
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A comparative study of the 2011/2013 water quality assessments in the Pasquotank Watershed in Northeastern North Carolina
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Keywords: Water Quality, Pasquotank, Watershed, dissolved oxygen, pH, salt, conductivity, clarity, turbidity

The Pasquotank River Watershed is found in Northeast North Carolina beginning in the Great Dismal Swamp at the Virginia/North Carolina border and flows into the Albemarle Sound. The watershed provides a transition between spawning grounds and the waters of the Albemarle Sound. The sound serves as a nursery area for many fish species and is home to numerous sport and commercial species. The watershed is supplied by tributaries enclosed by various landforms such as swamp, farmlands, and increased housing development. These landforms make both negative and positive contributions to the water quality of the watershed.

The 2013 Research Experience for Undergraduates Pasquotank River Watershed Team completed tests of five tributaries and the river itself. These test points were derived from the 2012 Watershed Team research project in order to compare the results. Streams tested were Newbegun Creek, Knobbs Creek, Areneuse Creek, Mill Dam Creek, and Sawyers Creek. These streams, along with the river, covered a large area of the watershed and provided a wide variety of shore development from swampland and farmland to industrial development.

In-house tests performed on this year’s samples included pH, salt, total dissolved solids, and conductivity. Air/water temperature, dissolved oxygen, wind speed/direction, and turbidity/clarity measurements were taken in the field. The results from these readings were placed into an online database and correlated to the location of the sample using Google Maps®. The data were then compared to the 2011 project data and analyzed for any variations or similarities.