IntroductionSeacoast Science Center KioskGreat Bay Interactive ProgramStudent Drifters Educational Applications Science and Education can come hand in hand. With most scientific research projects, the educational learning opportunities they provide are boundless. Here we present some examples, from engaging students directly in building, deploying, and tracking Student Drifters for oceanographers, to creating programs that share knowledge about their local watershed (Great Bay Interactive and Seacoast Science Center Kiosk). Simulations and resulting visualizations of events that occur in relatively large space and time scales help the general public better understand these otherwise hard to interpret events. Seacoast Science Center Kiosk One of the several segments of a technology transfer project entitled “Interdisciplinary Transfer of a Lagrangian Circulation Model to Researchers in Environmental Science and Education” was to create an interactive touch-screen kiosk display that illustrates the circulation and tidal flushing of the Great Bay Estuary to be displayed at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH. The project was funded by the NOAA-UNH Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET). The kiosk employed two touch-screen computer displays that ran their own unique interactive application that used somewhat different viewpoints to address the question of water quality and estuarine circulation. The first display shown here is a modified version of the original. It allows the user to choose between 6 coastline stretches where a set of particles representing surface runoff are released. The display then shows what happens to the cloud of particles as it is advected and dispersed by tides. While the individual animations are running, the user is asked a series of questions that lead them to consider the implication for the water quality within the estuarine system and how pollutants released over a relatively small region can affect a large part of the estuary for a significant time. The display uses passive particles released continuously for 6 hours along the specified coastal stretch. The number of particles released at each time step is specified so that there is a total of approximately 530,000 particles at the end of the release. The particles are then tracked for 30 M2 cycles and concentration maps are generated using a simple, fixed mesh projection method. The simulations use AR0 type uncorrelated random walk to statistically simulate turbulent dispersion. Animations so generated were merged into a Flash executable for stability and portability. You will need Adobe Flash Player to see the display. More information on the project and the pictures of the kiosk, entitled "Great Bay to the Sea" can be accessed here. Applicable Links Seacoast Science Center Get Adobe Flash Player Top: The simulation control screen. Middle: Snapshot from the Portsmouth Harbor release animation. Bottom: Snapshot from the Great Bay release animation. The simulation control screen - Click to open Flash file. Great Bay to the Sea kiosk at the Seacoast Science Center. Great Bay Interactive The first display funded by CICEET through the project entitled “Interdisciplinary Transfer of a Lagrangian Circulation Model to Researchers in Environmental Science and Education” was summarized in the Kiosk tab above. The second display shown here allows users to launch particles in the mesotidal Great Bay Estuary interactively and watch their subsequent movement in real time. The particles can be thought as passive water parcels that are advected by tidal velocities. No dispersion is added so that the public can make a direct connection between the velocities and the particle movement. To avoid overwhelming the screen, these particles have a finite lifetime after which they disappear. The interactive animation software was designed by Dr. Colin Ware at the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire (CCOM-UNH) and was jointly developed by Dr. Ware and Drs. Ata Bilgili and Jeff Proehl of Dartmouth College in 2006. More information on the project and the pictures of the kiosk, entitled "Great Bay to the Sea" can be accessed here. The software runs on Windows v.7 through v.10 machines only, with or without touch-screen displays. The executable and all necessary data files are packaged as a RAR file and can be downloaded below. You can use the open source program 7-Zip from their website to extract the files. A short video on how to extract the files and run the software is also provided below. Screenshot from the application showing applied particles (yellow). Click here to download .RAR file Instructional video for Great Bay Interactive Program. Student Drifters Beginning in 2003, Jim Manning teamed up with the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation and began building drifters with the help of various New England schools. While it began with the Southern Maine Community College, the project has evolved over the years to include more than 100 schools, primarily high schools. Teachers typically attend “drifter building workshops” at various locations around the region and, depending on the funding, often return to their classroom with a partially constructed drifter. Students learn how to build the unit, decorate its sails, and learn the various applications of drifter deployments. The schools typically connect with their local mariners (usually fishermen or whale watch boat captains) to have them deployed offshore. The objective is to get the drifters out in the coastal current and in the shelf circulation to minimize the chance of grounding. Those deployed off New England often end up on Georges Bank and eventually the Gulf Stream in a matter of a few months and then, depending on the sample rate and battery power, make their way out past the Grand Banks. The students follow its googlemapped-path on the web and are now getting instructions on how to download the data and process it themselves. The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation has been involved with these drifters since their first application to track potential transport of lobster larvae, are now the primary administrators of this project, and are helping more schools get involved. How to get involved Follow us on Facebook Visit the Student Drifter website Map showing drifter tracks across the North Atlantic.