Historic schooner carries Stevens technology to monitor NY Harbor

06/29/05

Center for Maritime Systems joins with DEP, South Street Seaport

HOBOKEN, N.J. -- Stevens Institute of Technology, South Street Seaport Museum, and the New York Department of Environmental Protection have announced a joint project to measure water conditions in New York Harbor. The technology/education partnership was celebrated in a morning voyage that set sail from South Street Seaport on June 22.

The Seaport Museum's 1885 schooner The Pioneer, which celebrated its 120th anniversary this month, now carries the latest technology in the form of a computerized water monitoring system as part of the Urban Ocean Observatory at Stevens. In partnership with the New York Department of Environmental Protection, the system measures water temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen in New York Harbor from The Pioneer as it conducts its public sails. The data is fed via a wireless network to computers at Stevens' Center for Maritime Systems (CMS) in Hoboken. Data collected includes water temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen.

The partners hope to follow up on The Pioneer deployment and add another water monitoring system to the museum's other 19th century schooner, The Lettie G. Howard. Since this vessel is based at the 79th Street Boat Basin, it would provide improved data collection in the Hudson River.

"The partnership between Stevens and South Street Seaport Museum is ideal," said Dr. Michael S. Bruno, director of the CMS at Stevens, "because the Museum is focused on education, and the Stevens instrumentation provides a direct connection between the vessels and the environmental monitoring being done by the scientific community. Students can go home and see the state of the water, plot trends and stay in touch with the water even when they're not physically literally at the water's edge."

Both the South Street Seaport Museum and the Stevens Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education are heavily involved in providing education to primary and secondary school students. Both organizations plan to increase their cooperation and to allow students to acquire data on the harbor and learn how forecasting (both weather and water) works.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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