Drifter Overview

Goals of the Drifter Program at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center are: 
To maximize deployments, students involvement, data use
To minimize redundant development, cost, effort, and windage
To maintain oceanographic standards

In 2004, funding was provided by NOAA's Northeast Consortium as part of the Environmental Monitors on Lobster Traps project (see emolt.org). The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation, the Southern Maine Community College, and NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center were interested in tracking the potential transport of early-staged larvae along the coast of Maine. In recent years, additional support has come from National Science Foundation and elsewhere to conduct a series of workshops for educators around the country.

Applications funded to date include:

  • Lobster larvae advection
  • Harmful Algal Blooms advection
  • Zooplankton advection
  • Educational demonstration
  • Invasive crab dispersal
  • Transient eddy formations
  • Oil spill tracking
  • Fish larvae (salmon,cod,herring) transport 
  • Power plant effluent dispersal
  • Tidal power assessment

Some partners involved and their role:

  • Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation non-profit processes orders
  • AXXON  manufacturers the GPS transmitters 
  • Southern Maine Community College Marince Science Department assembles parts
  • CommTechMobile is the satellite service provider
  • Globalstar float the low-orbitting satellites
  • NOAA promotes the use of these drifters and processes the data
  • NERACOOS helps make data accessible

Interested scientist and educators should contact Jim at, james.manning@noaa.gov and Erin Pellitier, erin@gomlf.org