In The Spotlight
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A Day in the Life of a River ,
Dr. Matthew Cohen, Chair of the Water Institute Faculty Advisory Committee, was recently awarded a grant to dive into the complexities of how rivers work. The research project titled, "A Day in the Life of a River: Metabolism and Nutrient Cycling across the River Continuum" is utilizing the River Continuum Concept as the conceptual model to test how rivers change from headwaters to the sea.
This project will include a variety of longitudinal surveys of water chemistry that is made possible through the usage of sensors. This method of testing the changes in water has the potential to change the way people think about rivers and how river behavior is measured.
"Usually what we do is measure a point, we watch the water flow by and we keep measuring," said Dr. Cohen. “What we will be doing is basically is flowing with a parcel of water and watching as it changes. It’s a new way of measuring that phenomenon.”
The grant began in August 2016 with a majority of the research being conducted this summer. The two rivers the project is focused on are the Suwannee and Upper Colorado rivers.
Aside from the research team comprised of researchers from the University of Florida and University of Colorado-Boulder, a filmmaker will be joining them on their trips down the rivers.
"We hope the film captures the poetry of how water changes as it flows through a river," said Dr. Cohen. "I hope it will motivate us as citizens to protect and enjoy these systems."