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Insights and Challenges in Developing a Remote Real-Time Watershed Monitoring Lab

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Research Experience in Stormwater Management

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

24.761.1 - 24.761.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20653

Download Count

36

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Paper Authors

biography

Walter McDonald Virginia Tech

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Walter McDonald is a Ph.D. student, jointly advised by Drs. Dymond and Lohani, in the CEE program at Virginia Tech with a focus in water-resources engineering. He received a B.S. in civil engineering from Texas Tech University and an M.S. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University. He has had extensive training in hydrology and currently works in the LEWAS lab, where he conducts water-sustainability research. He also has developed and implemented curricula for introducing the LEWAS into freshman level courses at Virginia Western Community College and a senior level hydrology course at Virginia Tech.

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biography

Randel L. Dymond Virginia Tech

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Dr. Randy Dymond is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech. With degrees from Bucknell and Penn State, Dr. Dymond has more than 30 years of experience in academics, consulting, and software development. He has taught at Penn State and the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, and has been at Virginia Tech for 15 years. Dr. Dymond has published more than 50 refereed journal articles and proceedings papers, and been the principal or co-principal investigator for more than 110 research proposals from many diverse funding agencies. His research areas include urban stormwater modeling, low impact development, watershed and floodplain management, and sustainable land development. Dr. Dymond has had previous grants working with the Montgomery County public schools and the town of Blacksburg, Va., on stormwater research and public education. He teaches classes in GIS, land development, and water resources, and has won numerous teaching awards, at the departmental, college, and national levels.

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Vinod K. Lohani Virginia Tech

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Dr. Vinod K Lohani is a professor in the engineering education department and an adjunct faculty member in the civil and environmental engineering department at Virginia Tech. His research interests are in the areas of sustainability, computer-supported research and learning systems, hydrology, and water resources. In a major ($1M+, NSF) curriculum reform and engineering education research project from 2004 to 2009, he led a team of engineering and education faculty to reform the engineering curriculum of an engineering department (Biological Systems Engineering) using Jerome Bruner’s spiral curriculum theory. Currently, Dr. Lohani leads an NSF/REU Site on ”interdisciplinary water sciences and engineering” which has graduated 56 excellent undergraduate researchers since 2007. This Site is renewed for the third cycle, which will be implemented during 2014-16. He also leads an NSF/TUES type I project in which a real-time environmental monitoring lab is being integrated into a freshman engineering course, a senior-level hydrology course at Virginia Tech, and a couple of courses at Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke, for enhancing water sustainability education. A member of ASCE and ASEE, he has published 70+ refereed publications.

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biography

Daniel S. Brogan Virginia Tech

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Daniel Brogan is a Ph.D. student in engineering education with B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering. He has completed several graduate courses in engineering education pertinent to this research. The key developer of the PIRMS, he leads the LEWAS lab development and implementation work. He has mentored two NSF/REU Site students in the LEWAS lab and assisted in the development and implementation of curricula for introducing the LEWAS at VWCC, including the development of pre- and post-test assessment questions. Additionally, he has a background in remote sensing, data analysis, and signal processing from the University of New Hampshire.

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Debarati Basu Virginia Tech

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Debarati Basu is a first year Ph.D. student in engineering education. She has B.Tech and M.Tech in computer science and engineering from West Bengal University of Technology. She has completed several graduate-level courses in the engineering education department and is engaged in developing a system with Raspberry Pi to collect data from the LEWAS sensors and store these in a database. A user will be able to access the data through an interactive user interface. She will be engaged in integrating the hardware and software components of this new system using programming languages such as Python, PHP, and SQL. She is mentoring an undergraduate student who is assisting her is developing the system.

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Abstract

Insights and Challenges in Developing a Remote Real-Time Watershed Monitoring LabThe LabVIEW Enabled Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS) is a remote real-time watershedmonitoring lab in Stroubles Creek on the campus of a large public university. The lab is comprised of aninterdisciplinary group of researchers focused on developing an automated watershed monitoring lab withreal-time data accessible to a wide range of users on an easy to use internet-accessible platform.Watershed monitoring hardware including a water quality multiprobe, acoustic doppler flow meter,weather station, and outdoor camera are integrated together using LabVIEW software to providecontinuous real-time watershed data.There have been many unique challenges in developing and implementing a remote real time watershedmonitoring lab. Examples include collecting accurate precipitation and flow data, and developing routinemaintenance and calibration procedures. To verify the accuracy of precipitation data, a tipping bucket raingage has been installed at the site to provide additional rainfall data and develop calibration curves for theweather station. Collecting consistent and accurate flow data in a unique urban watershed has requiredmultiple instruments and flow computation techniques. An acoustic doppler flow meter installed at theLEWAS site provides flow data through an index velocity to discharge relationship. A secondary flowmeasurement is provided by a weir installed in a culvert directly upstream of the site, where an ultrasonictransducer will soon be installed to provide stage data. Finally, maintaining accurate and reliable data forall instrumentation has required developing calibration and maintenance procedures which prevent errorsin data collection and ensure equipment upkeep. Data from this lab is being used in multiple courses at alarge public university including a senior level Hydrology course as well as in freshman level courses at acommunity college.

McDonald, W., & Dymond, R. L., & Lohani, V. K., & Brogan, D. S., & Basu, D. (2014, June), Insights and Challenges in Developing a Remote Real-Time Watershed Monitoring Lab Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20653

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