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2015 Spring Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Community... has ended
Wednesday, April 22 • 3:05pm - 3:25pm
Summarizing Water Quality in Western North Carolina Using Biotic Indices

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Various biotic indices are used as indicators in order to evaluate water quality. Impaired waters are waters in which quality samples for a defined parameter of that water body exceed water quality standards. The state of North Carolina uses two indices in their benthic macroinvertebrate water quality assessments: the biotic index (BI) and the Ephemeroptera Plecoptera Trichoptera (EPT) index. The state of North Carolina only samples a given location once every two years, on only a few sites. Therefore, it may have problems such as missing impaired sites or sampling a site on an atypical day. A volunteer benthic macroinvertebrate water sampling program, the Stream Monitoring Information Exchange (SMIE) samples more sites more frequently than the state. Because the state data and the SMIE data have some sampling sites in common, the main hypothesis of this study is to examine if combining the state data with the SMIE data would improve estimates of average biotic indices in western NC relative to estimates using only the state data. Using generalized linear models in SAS, trends and other factors that affect water quality are examined using the biotic indices of BI and EPT. Including factors such as site identification, sampling (state or SMIE), and year, it is found that incorporating the more frequently sampled SMIE data with the state analyses provides more precise results than the state data alone in order to summarize water quality in western NC.

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Wednesday April 22, 2015 3:05pm - 3:25pm
123 Zeis Hall

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