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Wired Pier Environmental Field Station

Wired Pier Environmental Field Station

How do rising and falling tides affect the surface currents, water conditions, and ecosystems in San Francisco Bay? Does the weather change the air quality in San Francisco? How do human activities alter carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere?

To answer these and other questions, the Exploratorium has installed a variety of data gathering instruments at Pier 15, both on the roof and in the water. Live measurements from these sensors reveal what’s currently happening, and a growing archive of this data lets us observe short- and long-term changes, from recent weather history to seasonal phytoplankton blooms.

This project, called the Environmental Field Station, supports two of the Bay Observatory’s main goals: collecting and archiving data over time, and fostering observation skills. Visitors can explore the data on the Wired Pier Environmental Field Station website, and through a suite of data visualization exhibits in the Bay Observatory gallery.

The Environmental Field Station is also a research site for scientists who study Bay, ocean, and atmospheric systems. Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), UC Berkeley, and the Romberg-Tiburon Center are contributing expertise and instruments to the Field Station, and incorporating its data into regional and transpacific observing networks.


Where: Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery and Terrace 6: Observing Landscapes