2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Analyzing Boise River Data Collected by an Unmanned Aircraft System to Promote Environmental Stewardship

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Don Warner


The Boise population is increasing at a fast pace as more people move in. To accommodate this change, there have been more construction and agricultural projects going on around the city, which in turn generate lots of pollutants. These pollutants include sediments and runoff that channel into Mason's Creek, which then eventually merges with the Boise River. This project focuses on seeing how the effects of urbanization and agricultural flow return would affect the water quality standard in the lower Boise River. Using an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), samples of water and various data types were found along the Boise River and Mason's Creek area. Data included phosphates, temperature, pH, and conductivity. The data collected indicated that the water quality of the Boise River and Mason's Creek is adequate during the offseason, with temperatures around 18C, phosphate values at around 0.5-0.6 ppm, and conductivity values around 420. Using the Thingspeak graphical user interface, the data is able to be seen in real time through a custom website dedicated for this project. This ultimately demonstrates a promising method of the proposed method of UAS water based sampling, and will be broadly applicable for other water quality studies in the future.

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