Weather Station Brings New Learning to Old Harbor

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

Yesterday KMXT told you all about a new project for Kodiak High School and Middle School students, one that partners them with NASA scientists to try and forecast earthquakes.
The work is being done through Trillium Learning’s American Bridge Project, and brought the world’s first two Global Earthquake Forecasting System sensing platforms to Kodiak last month. One was placed on top of the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium, and another was sent to Old Harbor.
The platforms collect electrical and magnetic signals, among other data, but also include a full NOAA-class weather station on each platform.
“So we can tell how much wind, wind gusts, rain, humidity, temperature – all these things are actually being recorded.”
That’s Ron Fortunado, the president of Trillium Learning. He said the students working with the platform in Old Harbor went nuts when they learned about the weather stations included in the project, something he didn’t expect.
“Because they don’t have a weather station down there.”
Instead, Fortunado learned that Old Harbor relies on weather forecasts from Kodiak airport.
“If they knew what the weather was like down here they would know whether or not to send a plane or not, or a maritime or fishing fleet – we would know better about what the conditions were and stuff like that. So with a weather station down there, localizing in a place based manner, now they’re going to use it to do all sorts of climate studies in their environmental science classes and things like that.”
Fortunado said he had no idea how important and useful a weather station would be for the community of Old Harbor, and is glad the earthquake forecasting project can be beneficial in multiple ways.

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