The process of ordering your drifter(s), getting it in the water, and contributing to the database goes something like this:



0) you (or your students) visit both studentdrifters.org and nefsc.noaa.gov/drifter, click around, explore, and familiarize yourself with the project. There are links to, for example, FAQ.

1) you email Erin Pelletier at the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation <mailto:erin@gomlf.org> with (copy james.manning@noaa.gov) with a rough list of what you want. In most cases, you are asking for package that is at least several hundred dollars. This minimum package includes a) a transmitter, b) her help in setting you up, and c) the satellite service. Nearly half this cost is for satellite service which can be adjusted lower if you are not interested in frequent sampling.

2) she emails you a partially-filled-out spreadsheet (ie sample purchase order) according to what you mention

3) you examine this spreadsheet all the prices and options, adjust it exactly according to what you want, and then email the modified spreadsheet back to her (copy to james.manning@noaa.gov)

4) she calls you (or you call her at 207-985-8088) to:
  - make sure you understand about satellite fees, sample rates, what you will be getting, etc.
  - work out the payment either over the phone or through her website w/creditcard
  - find out if you want to particpate in the next scheduled drifter-building workshop like those listed here:

DateSponserLocation
15 Apr 2013Cape Cod Five Bank21 Pleasantview Ave Falmouth MA
18 Apr 2013Cambridge Science FestMIT
19 Jun 2013UCONNAvery Pt, CT
17 Feb 2014Center for Student Coastal ReseachCohasset, MA
10 May 2014NEOSEC/NERACOOS/GOMEA/SNEMEA/MMEWoods Hole, MA
1-4 July 2014Gulf of Maine InstituteByfield, MA
06 Mar 2015Eastern Maine Skippers ProgramCongo Church in Rockport, ME
27 Jan 2016Maritime GloucesterGloucester,MA
17 Feb 2016Center for Student Coastal ReseachCohasset, MA
05 Mar 2016Maine Fishermen ForumRockport, Maine
21 Apr 2016NOAA Carlson LaneFalmouth, MA


  -you let her know how what sample rate you want (30 minutes, 2 hour, 24 hours, or whatever)
  -you let her know when you plan to deploy

5) she lets the science party know:
  - how many drifters to prep for you (if you are not making one yourself), address to send to, and when they are needed
  - if you plan to attend a drifter-building workshop

6) you get the requested items in the mail and follow the latest "construction manual" if you are building your own.

7) you (or your students) visit the website at "http://nefsc.noaa.gov/drifter" to see if your school is listed yet and, if not, notify james.manning@noaa.gov

8) you (or your students):
9) you or your students send james.manning@noaa.gov the deployment time, photos, and links to blogs and/or new articles

10) you and your students revisit main drifter site and let us know if you do not see links to your own googlemap, data, photo, etc

11) The science party contacts the webmasters of whatever US Integrated Ocean Observing System region you are in to make sure they are picking up the data feeds from your drifter and displaying the tracks on their asset maps as well.
(Note: This maximizes the use of your data and allows oceanographers around the country to use it for their studies.)

12) You and your fellow teachers might consider coming to one of our "data workshops" where we talk about "what-to-do-with-drifter-data-in-the-classroom".
13) if you find the drifter is recovered or washed ashore, email james.manning@noaa.gov with recovery info.

14) we all look for funding wherever we can find it