International SeaKeepers: monitoring theWorlds oceans and atmosphere

Rod Zika and Ed Kearns

Chief Scientist SeaKeepers Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami


The International SeaKeepers Society was established in July 1998 as a non-profitorganization to develop and deploy on private yachts, cruise ships, and other vessels an autonomous ocean sensing and weather monitoring module to provide scientific organizations, government agencies and vessel captains with critically important, real-time data on the health of the oceans and to provide early detection and warning of potentially hazardous marine and weather conditions.

The SeaKeepers Society, in partnership with University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, has developed an ocean and weather monitoring module that has been installed on member yachts, cruise ships and other vessels around the world. The data gathered by the SeaKeepers modules will be used by the National Weather Service and research organizations such as the Inter-governmental Ocean Commission (IOC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to supplement, expand, and calibrate existing ocean drifter, buoy and satellite data on such items as: current weather conditions, sea surface temperature, salinity, PH, oxygen, phytoplankton levels (ocean color), water clarity, and emerging climatic change (such as El Nino). Additional data will be collected by the equipment to monitor and provide early warning of toxic algae blooms.

The SeaKeepers ocean and weather monitoring module went through extensive field testing aboard its 43 Founding Member's vessels during the summer and fall of 2000. Up to 200 fully developed monitoring modules will be distributed to Society members through the year 2001 and installed aboard their vessels.

Speakers will describe the instrumentation and give the anticipated schedule for bringing meteorological and oceanographic observations into NWSTG.