With generous funding from Indian River Impact 100, the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, Inc. (ORCA) has developed Kilroy Academy in Indian River County, Florida. Kilroy Academy is a program of ORCA, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Real time data from ORCA’s Kilroy water quality monitoring systems, installed in the Indian River Lagoon, are used as the backbone of an innovative internet-based, multidisciplinary program designed for grades 9-12. The goal is to provide enough background information so students can understand the significance of the data and participate in doing real-world science for the benefit of their communities.

"The environmental problems that our generation has left to those that will follow are beyond imagining. That our choices and behaviors are actually changing ocean chemistry boggles the mind. Paradoxically, in the face of such gloom and doom, the most valuable tool we need to be passing on to our children is optimism. It is only the optimists that will see the solutions and recognize that if it was our choices and behaviors that brought us to this environmental precipe then our choices and behaviors can pull us back from the brink." - Dr. Edie Widder

Kilroy Academy is a collection of resources to teach and learn the knowledge and skills needed to help save our ocean planet. RESOURCES are a collection of building blocks of knowledge in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).

These include short video tutorials, hands-on demonstrations, virtual field trips, useful links and worksheets that are designed to make data from KILROYS meaningful. The Kilroys are water quality monitors located in the Indian River Lagoon, a critically important estuary along the east coast of Florida.

Monitoring conditions in the Lagoon is equivalent to what doctors do for patients. They use the information that they get from their monitors in order to determine what is wrong with a patient and to be sure that whatever they are doing is making the patient better and not worse. Factors like temperature, salinity (how much salt is dissolved in the water), dissolved oxygen (how much oxygen is in the water), pH (how acidic the water is), turbidity (how clear is the water) and how many nutrients are present all impact animal survival.

Animals and plants may have a wide range of tolerances for some factors and a narrow range for others. By monitoring these factors we can help assure that the environmental factors stay within a range that will optimize survival, not just for aquatic species, but ultimately for ourselves. These are complex problems and we need people with trained eyes watching these monitors and working together to protect our water-based life support systems. We hope you will become part of the Kilroy Academy team and learn what is needed to help make a difference.

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” -Marshall McLuhan


Educators and learners may access and use Kilroy Academy content from any computer or device with access to the web. Kilroy Academy resources are available to the public free of charge. The building blocks of knowledge needed to understand the Kilroy water quality monitoring data are all available under the RESOURCES tab. Real time data from the Kilroy sensor systems and a tutorial on how to access the data are available under the KILROY tab.


Kilroy Academy: Bringing Real-Time Water Quality Data into Florida Classrooms (53:07 min.) Webinar recording. In this webinar Dr. Widder provides an overview of Kilroy Academy.  If your time is limited and you want to focus on the core information, you can start at the 14:30 mark and stop at 35:30.



The main goal of Kilroy Academy is to teach today’s youth the knowledge and skills needed to understand the complexity of the challenges our planet is facing and help us in our efforts to find solutions.

Kilroy Academy aims to create a diverse network of educators and learners utilizing ORCA’s innovative technology to gather information and in turn use this information to educate the public and raise awareness of environmental issues facing the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). Those involved with Kilroy Academy will learn to think critically and execute conservation action plans to restore the IRL and the species it sustains.

Copyright © 2016 Ocean Research & Conservation Association, Inc. All rights reserved.