The RENCI Engagement Center at ECU operated from 2007-2013. This website is an archive of the research and engagement activity over those years. Several of our projects continue at ECU. For instance, see the NC Coastal Atlas ( for current news and information. This site is no longer being updated. Parties interested in these projects and ongoing related activities may contact Dr. Tom Allen, past Director of RENCI@ECU at



Fashioned from a Sea-Doo GTI personal watercraft, the Sound ROVER helps researchers position equipment and collect data precisely and quickly in aquatic environments and has been successfully applied to challenging coastal mapping problems. The Sound ROVER has beach and off-ramp launch and retrieval capability and is outfitted with a high precision GPS, echosounder, and a laser rangefinder.

The Sound ROVER on the water.

It has been deployed for calibrating coastal radar instruments at the US Army Corps of Engineers' Duck Field Research Facility in cooperation with the UNC Coastal Studies Institute. The Sound ROVER also provides vessel time cost-savings and has been used to measure rapidly eroding shores. It will also be used for upcoming maritime archeological surveys with NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration.

Sound ROVER Features

  • Geospatial data collection
  • ASD Field Spec Pro (portable hyperspectral spectrometer, visible to shortwave IR)
  • Trimble GPS receivers
  • Laser rangefinder
  • Garmin 535s depth sounder (temperature and depth)
  • XM satellite weather
  • Trailer and beach dolly