Southern Fried Science has been a bit dormant for the last year, so first, a re-introduction:
I’m Andrew Thaler, I’m an ocean scientist, and I make weird tech things.
Ten years ago I inherited an old mechanical tide gauge from a lab cleanout. For some bizarre reason, I thought: what if, instead of tracking the rising and falling tides in the Beaufort Inlet, it tracked the waxing and waning of conversations about sea level rise on Twitter. And thus, the Sea Leveler was born.
In a lot of ways, the Sea Leveler was the precursor of things to come. It was exhaustively documented and released as an open-source project on GitHub. It merged the digital with the physical, creating an object that allowed you to connect an online conversation to the real-world environment through repurposed technology. It was weird. And it was fun.
The Sea Leveler itself was passed on to a good friend and champion of ocean outreach, but its legacy lives on in the plethora of projects to follow: Drown Your Town, Dolphin Vision, the reStepper, Turtle Borg, and, of course, the OpenCTD.