How amazing would it be to tap our region’s most beloved activity, surfing, to capture data on the health of our coastal waters and its indigenous inhabitants? The Grauer school recently welcomed guest visitor, Stephanie Mumma, project lead for Smartfin, a data gathering mechanism that attaches to the fins of surfboards to collect data. Mumma joined Grauer teacher, Brendan Wallace and sixteen members of The Grauer School 11th grade Marine Biology class to showcase and answer questions relating to Smartfin technology. Smartfin is a bluetooth-equipped tool that captures important data about the health of coastal waters by measuring such metrics as temperature, salinity, and pH all from a surfboard fin. Collected data then interfaces with a smartphone application before transmitting data to a server where it is recorded and graphed. The developers at Smartfin plan to make this data open source and available to the public. At a time when the health and safety of our coastal waters are shifting whether it be as a result of climate change, El Niño, or the large mass of warm water known as the“blob” access to this form of forward-thinking technology could make a huge difference to those living and working in the region.
The Grauer School’s twenty-plus-year dedication to eco-stewardship through such organizations as Blue Water Task Force (a crowd-sourcing effort to detect and report coastal water quality through the Surfrider Foundation), made welcoming Smartfit as a partner a natural choice. Many student-athletes, many of whom are surfers, will be beta testing the product and collecting important data that researchers associated with Smartfin and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography will use to render a clearer model of ocean conditions and the effects climate change have on marine environments. For more information on Smartfin, go to www.smartfin.org