Volunteers, students and academics worked together Saturday to take King Tide measurements, providing data for the research of sea-level rise in South Florida.
People met at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, but were sent out to measure water depth and quality at multiple locations throughout Miami Dade County. The Sea Level Solutions Day was a collaboration between FIU’s Sea Level Solutions Center and Eyes on the Rise, a climate communications program in the Department of Journalism, headed by Professors Susan Jacobson, Juliet Pinto and Kate MacMillan.
King Tide occurs when the Earth, moon and Sun are in alignment. It has returned for the second time this year.
SLSC Director Tiffany Troxler said people need to understand the issue isn’t some time off in the future, but now.
“We need to engage the community not only in the solutions around understanding the problem but the information to get a better understanding of the problem,” she said.
Before going out into the field, Communications Coordinator Brad Schonhoff told participants how to measure and sample water properly using the Fulcrum app. A group gathered around him while he gave a demonstration.
Participants were instructed to pick a location from a list. They were also given kits that consisted of gloves, containers, devices and measuring tape.
Volunteers Kivan Bhat and his wife Cassie are Miami natives.
“This is a serious issue for our community,” he said. “Someone needs to collect the data. We are happy to help.”
Maria Pulido-Velosa, the SLSC’s science communications coordinator, assisted students and other volunteers at the Little River Pocket Park.
Miami state Sen. Jose J. Rodriguez and his family collected data from the Vizcaya location.
“Data collection is very important especially at King Tides,” he said. “If we have an army of citizen scientists that absolutely helps us.”
Data gathered by participants will be analyzed, and a follow-up event on Dec. 2 at Vizcaya has been scheduled to share the results.