March 18, 2008

HPWREN collaborates in Florida

By James Hale, HPWREN staff

The LIVE presentations have received great reactions from multiple education outreach venues. Susan Teel of the National Park Service California Mediterranean Research Learning Center has been a driving proponent of the technologies HPWREN introduced at Cabrillo National Monument. Her enthusiasm for the technology motivated a meeting in Biscayne Bay National Park in Southern Florida. Susan asked that I attend and provide the technical lingo and answer wireless technology questions.

Those attending were from a wide variety of marine disciplines. From technology, education and biology. Each wanting to see how this technology could enhance their research or education outreach. Afterward we gave a demonstration of the LIVE presentations, followed by numerous questions from the attendees as to how the technology could be applied to their projects.

Those that attended the meeting were from a wide range of disciplines such as National Park Service, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, South Broward High School and the University of Miami.

Susan Teel and Susan Gonshor, Chief Park Interpreter in a post meeting discussion.

Currently, Biscayne National Park is planning to add a 5.8Ghz. wireless system to their network. BNP is installing a wireless system to connect the main facility to a remote site on Adams Key, a small island about 10 miles off the coast. This connection is going to be primarily reserved for Voice over Internet Protocol to bring telephone and limited internet connectivity to the remote island.

Later we were given a tour of a couple of the projects interested in integrating the LIVE tools. This required that we motor by boat out to Adams Key.

Below the dock where Susan Teel and Richard Curry stand talking, lies Richards Coral Nursery where coral are raised to re-seed devastated reefs.

Here, Richard Curry of the NPS Biscayne Coastal and Marine Research Learning Center lead a snorkeling tour of his Coral Nursery. He is raising coral to reseed reefs damaged by events such as ships running aground.

Neil Hammerschlag and Dan DiResta of the University of Miami RSMAS, gave a demonstration of Shark Tagging for the purpose of tracking shark movement. Ted Davis - Maritime Magnet Coordinator and Robert Decarreau - Florida Institute of Technology Student along with his Mentor Bill Baxley, an engineer of Remotely Operated Vehicles for the Navy, demonstrated the ROV built by Robert for a ROV competition.

The boat trip to Adams Key.

Neil Hammerschlag demonstrates Shark Tagging on a 5 foot Nurse Shark

All the projects we saw had various aspects that would be enriched by the wireless connectivity and LIVE presentations to students and colleagues. Following the tour, Susan and I met with individuals from the various interested in what it would take to make this technology transfer happen.

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