Linking R&D Activities with Teaching: Water Quality Monitoring in Aquaculture as a Remote Laboratory Proxy for Environmental Studies

Maria Teresa Borges, Joaquim Gabriel Mendes, Maria Teresa Restivo, Carlos Manuel Pereira

Abstract


This work presents a system for on-line study purposes and for demonstrative operation of water quality monitoring based on previous full-scale trials in a commercial aquaculture facility under the scope of a R&D project. This system is still under development, and was designed for sharing resources in R&D activities and later in distance learning blended courses. An application developed in LabVIEW is responsible for receiving information from physical and chemical data (water level, flow, oxygen, temperature, pH, ORP and CO2) through a hardware interface. The acquired data are recorded in a Microsoft Access database that can be locally queried as desired. An IP camera allows students to observe the system in real-time. Students can log into the system and follow the real-time variations of a specific water quality parameter and the synergetic effects of these changes on the levels of other constituents. The water tanks contain no living beings in order to allow free adjustments of the parameters under study. The system description, data and remote access link is integrated in a basic course available in a Moodle® server. The goal of this course is to provide a stimulating interdisciplinary environment to a diverse group of undergraduate students, where critical research questions related to water are addressed. This system, unique in the area concerning with our knowledge, intends to contribute also to students? training on data monitoring and analysis; and to nourish analytical skills and creativity of future scientists by encouraging potential graduate students to go further. Finally, this system allows the students to be familiar with the use of some new information technologies.

Keywords


Distance learning; remote laboratories; water quality monitoring; aquaculture application

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International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning. ISSN: 1863-0383
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