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Water quality


The VCU Rice Rivers Center records water quality in the adjacent James River and portions of Kimages Creek that flow through the center. Probes measure and report several water parameters, including:

  • Dissolved oxygen
  • pH
  • Conductivity
  • Salinity
  • Temperature
  • Tidal cycle
  • Turbidity
  • Chlorophyll concentration

Visit our real-time data page for the latest water quality and weather data from our pier. 

Aquatic Mesocosm Facility

The Aquatic Mesocosm Facility consists of 24 tanks connected to the James River. These 500-gallon tanks can take in water straight from the river, which includes native bacterial, algal and animal communities. This allows researchers to perform experiments under natural conditions.

Mesocosms helps us understand the impact water quality has on living resources of the river. Future studies will help us understand the effects of nutrients and light on algae growth in the river. Large algal blooms have a harmful ripple effect on filter-feeders and water oxygenation.

Paul Bukaveckas [View Image]
Paul Bukaveckas, Ph.D.
Professor, Center for Environmental Studies
Every semester, as part of his graduate biology course in water pollution, professor Paul Bukaveckas invites professionals in the fields of water management, regulation and advocacy into his classroom to discuss their jobs. “Students are attracted to biology,” he explained, “but they don’t know what they can do with a biology degree.”

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