Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures


Surfing with Smartfin for Coastal Research and Science Communication

Event Name/Location

2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, Oregon, February 11-16, 2018

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The coastal zone is teeming with opportunities for both scientific investigation and science communication. With a substantial proportion of the world’s population living along coastlines and depending on various aspects of the coast for food, storm protection, and recreation, in addition to the multitude of scientific questions related to its dynamic nature, it is a logical place to apply the combined research and outreach efforts provided by citizen science. The Smartfin Project is an attempt to work across this nexus by creating surfboard fins with oceanographic sensors that are distributed to communities of surfers in order to study coastal dynamics and provide a unique platform to talk about anthropogenic ocean changes such as sea level rise, increasing temperatures, coral bleaching, and ocean acidification. The Smartfin is a wireless, rechargeable sensor package that currently measures geolocated temperature and wave motion (additional biogeochemical sensors are in development) and sends data back to a publicly available cloud database via a smartphone app. In this presentation, we will describe the technology, its scientific applications, and our community-building efforts.



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