Project OASIS (Optimizing Aquaponic Systems to Improve Sustainability) is the name of a research project started in January 2016, by a group of engineering students at the University of New Hampshire. The goal of their project is to “develop an energy efficient, sustainable hydroponic system that will provide the food insecure with a source of local nutritious food.” These students have been collecting data and discussing their plans for this project since their freshmen year at the university, and are now working with UNH’s College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, along with the New Hampshire Agriculture Experiment Station at the Macfarlane Research Greenhouses on this research.
During this initial visit, the students visited the community, collected site data, and spoke with many members of the Uvita community who are interested in helping with this project. After returning home, the students quickly got to work on the construction of the model system and the scalability of the system considering the site location. The students are working with Dr. Todd Guerdat, Professor Andrew Ogden, and several other UNH students in the Macfarlane Research Greenhouses. Their goal is to build a sustainable aquaponics system that is economically and environmentally feasible in the Uvita community and potentially many other communities around the globe. The system has been up and running in the greenhouses since March, and further testing is being done to review its efficiency and potential.