Date of Graduation

Summer 2014


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Robert Pavlowsky


water quality sampling, snapshot sampling, land use, James River watershed, Missouri

Subject Categories



Population growth and land-uses have created water quality impairment in the James River watershed of southwest Missouri. Many studies have been completed in the watershed, but these have focused primarily on specific problem areas or used data from a few fixed sites. This thesis describes the use of a relatively new method, called the snapshot survey, to examine spatial patterns in water quality across the entire James River watershed within a very short time frame. Seventy sites on streams and springs in the watershed were sampled by volunteers in a three hour period on July 13, 3013. Measured variables included temperature, pH, conductivity, chlorides, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and E. coli. Spatial patterns indicate that Wilsons Creek elevates total nitrogen and total phosphorus levels in the James River above the Total Maximum Daily Load target levels. Pearson Creek was found to have high E coli levels, from unknown sources. Sites on the upper James and upper Finley Rivers were elevated with respect to nutrients and E. coli, which may be non-point source related. Snapshot survey data compared well with that collected in previous studies, indicating that the volunteer-collected data is of good quality. Snapshot sampling appears to be a viable method for discerning broad spatial patterns related to both point and non-point sources of pollution. The application of this method in the James River basin can be used as a template for future snapshot events in the James River or other watersheds.


© Loring Louis Bullard

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