After more than a year of planning and dedicated work by local students, Folsom Lake College’s Innovation Center has successfully deployed a wind and wave data buoy in Richardson Bay, a protected eel grass preserve between Sausalito and Tiburon in San Francisco.
The project is part of an ongoing partnership between the Innovation Center, FLC’s Geosciences Department led by Professor Jason Pittman, and the UC Davis Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory. UC Davis Marine Operations Manager David Dann provided expert support navigating the complex regulatory environment of California’s coastal waters, which included permits and intense coordination with the Richardson Bay Audubon Center, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the City of Belvedere, and Clipper Yacht Harbor.
The data gathering buoy (which includes an underwater audio recorder to capture the sounds of marine mammals) is part of the Innovation Center’s larger “Quantified College” project, an effort to gather a variety of environmental data and to provide students with opportunities to use those data in a variety of ways, from sonification (i.e. creating music from data) to “big data” analysis as part of FLC’s innovative Artificial Intelligence curriculum.
Data from the buoy can be viewed in real time by clicking HERE Data will also be used to support coastal erosion research being conducted by the UC Davis Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute. The project is the first of many for the partnership, with the overarching goal of providing FLC students with opportunities for hands-on field experiences, as well as transfer and career pathways.