The Mini-Mobile Unit
Field testing the MMU
The MMU was field tested from 2008-2012. In 2008, the MMU was deployed downstream from the wastewater treatment plant in Hastings, Nebraska. In 2009, the MMU was deployed within the wastewater treatment plant at Grand Island, Nebraska. Results from those early studies were published in 2012 in the international journal, the Journal of Environmental Monitoring. From 2010-2012 the MMUs were deployed on Kiawah Island, a South Carolina barrier island. Additional research in Nebraska is being planned with the MMUs beginning Spring 2016.
Why use the mini-mobile unit?
The MMU is lightweight, energy efficient, inexpensive, and most importantly, versatile. The combination of these features and its design allow the MMU to be utilized under conditions where direct deployment of equipment in the water body is not feasible. The MMU is useful for shallow water environments, underground and high velocity conduits, sensitive/protected aquatic environments, and hazardous in-plant environments.
Mini-mobile unit as a research tool
The MMU can be used to detect the presence of contaminants in rivers, streams, wastewater, and other aquatic environments. The MMU will allow fish to be exposed to water in a controlled manner, allowing for detection of physiological and molecular alterations in the fish. While we focus on a number of different endpoints, alterations in gene expression are a powerful tool often applied to the fish exposed in the MMU.
Mini-mobile unit as an educational tool
Education and outreach is a primary focus of the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory. Because of the portability, versatility, and convenience of the mini-mobile unit, we hope to allow high school, community college and 4-year colleges throughout the state access the mini- mobile unit to conduct their own research experiments. The project would serve as both a scientific and educational endeavor.