About Current Data

Current Data was founded by Eric Compas, a professor of geography and environmental science at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He is also a Rock River Coalition board member, a volunteer water quality monitor, and an avid kayaker and canoeist.

Eric Compas, founder of Current.

Eric Compas, founder of Current Data, tests a prototype sensor array.

As someone who loves being out on the water, Eric has a long-standing interest in helping water managers make the best decisions possible. As a GIS expert, he knows that data become much more powerful when displayed as maps, graphs, charts, and animations, instead of columns of numbers. And as a tinkerer, he wanted to create a cost-effective way to help citizen scientists collect, map, and share water quality data.

His wife, Lori, posted a photo on Facebook of his early efforts to create a low-cost sensor array, and a friend working in India immediately wrote to request more information. Interest in the project grew, and Eric decided to broaden the project’s scope.

It’s a family effort. Lori is helping with photography, videography, and social media. Their daughter, Anna, designed the Current logo and she also does the delicate soldering work on test units. Their son, Tom, helped develop the app that takes users through every step of the data collection process. They all, along with Eric’s students at UW-Whitewater, are planning to do lots of field testing on rivers, streams, and lakes this summer.

We hope you like Current Data and we welcome your questions and comments by email.