Water Quality Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation

The Water Quality Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation online course is a signature course delivered by CRI’s Training and Professional Development program. This course advances participants’ abilities to design water quality research and monitoring programs and analyze water quality conditions and trends. 

Course Overview

This online course was developed to introduce tools for water quality data visualization and statistical analysis (using R), provide exercises to gain experience with real data to analyse for effects, trends, etc., introduce the use of Water Quality Indices (WQI) to consolidate water quality information, and covers the design of water quality monitoring programs. 

Topics covered include:

  • Summary statistics and graphs

  • Data distributions and transformations

  • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

  • Regression analysis

  • Trend analysis and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA)

  • Principal Component Analysis (PCA)

  • Water Quality Indices (WQI)

Course Objectives

  • Introduce tools for water quality data visualization and analysis (R and R Studio; open source statistical software)

  • Run through hands-on activities with real data to analyse for effects, trends, etc. This will largely be done with R

  • Introduce use of Water Quality Indices (WQI) to consolidate lots of data and information

Learning Outcomes

  • Formulate key questions and hypotheses

  • Determine the best analytical method for answering the question

  • Determine the best graphical method for presenting the data

  • Analyse and present the data through the use of R

  • Learn how to present figures and statistical results in reports


The content was originally developed in partnership with the Saskatchewan Research Council (Dr. Andrew Harwood), and Dr. Monique Dubé (former CRI Science Director), and has been recently redeveloped with a significant amount of new content and exercises added by Dr. Jen Lento (UNB/CRI Research Scientist), Brianna Levenstein (UNB/CRI Research Technician), Zoe O’Malley (UNB/CRI Research Technician), and Dr. Michelle Gray (UNB/CRI Assistant Professor). It is offered as a self-paced online course in an online learning management system called D2L. Participants will be encouraged to interact with fellow participants online to share real-world stories and/or questions regarding water quality monitoring data and designs.

The Canadian Rivers Institute is using the services of the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management (ForEM) and the College of Extended Learning to increase the quality and efficiency of program registration and delivery of this CRI Training and Professional Development program's signature course. ForEM is responsible for the registration process, client relations, and the delivery of courses. For enquiries specific to CRI’s 2017 spring/summer signature courses please call 453-4770 or email


Online Course Fees

Registrant Type Registration Fees
Professionals $500.00 +HST = $575.00
Students/NGOs/First Nations $375.00 + HST = $431.25

Course Schedule

Online access available January 14, 2019

The course will introduce a learning module each week (11 modules, plus tutorials (Jan-Mar)).

Self-paced course