The following is a list of our current and more recent projects. Please see our Completed Projects listing for some of our older yet seminal research projects.


Continuous River Monitoring
(2006 – Present)

Since 2006, Phinizy Center for Water Sciences has been monitoring river basin water quality in the southeast using autonomous sondes equipped with probes that measure and record temperature, specific conductance, pH, and dissolved oxygen levels at 15-minute intervals.  Learn more here.

Ecological Modeling Program
(2014 kickoff)

In its earliest stages, this project will result in the capacity to provide water quality, hydrology, ecology, and geochemical modeling expertise for each of our research projects, our supporters, regulators, and river managers.


Sturgeon Monitoring

The shortnose sturgeon is a federally endangered native fish of the Savannah River. The goal of this project is to assist SC DNR with tracking tagged sturgeon through the maintenance, download, and analysis of sturgeon logger data. This provides information about the movement and spawning activity of sturgeon to enhance our understanding of their behavior in relation to habitat, water quality, and water quantity.

Augusta-Richmond County 319(h) Grant – fecal coliform

Rocky and Butler Creeks are listed as federally impaired and nonpoint source contaminated waterways.  These listings are largely due to the high concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria found in these waters. As part of the 319(h) grant, the goals of this project involve monitoring and identifying potential sources of fecal coliform/E.coli bacteria as well as public education about the impact and prevention of stormwater issues.

Pendleton King Park Constructed Wetland Development

This project will develop a constructed wetland to provide stormwater treatment, improve water quality in Lake Elizabeth, create wildlife habitat, and improve aesthetics and ecological health at this popular urban park.

City of Thomson 319(h) Grant
(2014 kickoff)

Brier Creek is also listed as a federally impaired waterway with nonpoint water pollution symptoms. In addition to the many citizens who live along its banks, there is a water treatment plant, several different types of industries, as well as numerous agricultural and livestock operations that all rely on both the quantity and quality of the water in Brier Creek. The objective of this project is to develop a Watershed Management Plan (WMP) for Brier Creek that will both help protect and improve the health of this waterway.

Rocky Creek Lagrangian Study

Related to the Augusta-Richmond County 319(d) project, the main objective is to investigate potential pathogen sources in Rocky Creek using a Lagrangian sampling scheme (following the same packet of water).  For more information about this type of sampling, please see the Lagrangian River Research Project listed below.

Rain Gauge 6

Rain Gauge Network

Through a partnership with the Augusta-Richmond County Engineering Department, Phinizy Center is developing a network of rain gauges and creek level loggers in Augusta-Richmond County. This network consists of stations that continuously measure and record rainfall and water levels at 15-minute intervals and reports the results in real-time. Read more here.

Citizen Science-Backyard Herpetology

Develop a citizen science reptile and amphibian monitoring program to create public awareness, get kids involved in science, and study the influence of urban areas on herpetological communities.

Mosquito Surveillance Program

In conjunction with Augusta-Richmond County Mosquito Control, the State of Georgia, and multiple citizens who allow us to trap mosquitoes on their property, this project currently provides regular mosquito surveillance and will in the future provide virus detection in Augusta-Richmond County.

Different types of mosquitoes utilize different habitat for breeding, such as tree holes, stagnant pools of water, old tires, small containers, and/or moist leaf matter. By identifying the types of mosquitoes present, this surveillance helps the county design effective and cost efficient control methods that best address these nuisance mosquito populations.

Jason with sonde

Lagrangian River Research Program

This is a water quality monitoring program that provides a completely different perspective through multi-day research cruises. These cruises perform continuous data collection while floating within the same packet of water as the water flows down the river basin. Monitoring the waterway in this manner allows us to assess the impacts to water quality due to the changes in geochemistry, hydrology, and ecology that occur as the Savannah River covers more than 200 miles going from Thurmond Dam down to the Atlantic Ocean.

Georgia Southern Real STEM grant

This project provides teachers an opportunity to join Phinizy Researchers on a field excursion to discuss real-world water quality problems and methods of assessment so the teachers can develop their own curriculum around the ongoing research.