The Internet: arguably the greatest resource for those with limited funds, (and maybe for those not limited). The National Data Buoy Center ( is a good source for primary data on temperature and other environmental parameters. Data from docks is also found here, and that is where I obtained temperatures and salinities off the Romberg-Tiburon dock.
Temperature logger: stores several thousand sequential temperature and light intensity values, start time and sample intervals are programmable. They can be obtained for as little as $40 because they are manufactured by the thousands and used to monitor temperatures during the shipment of temperature sensitive products. Obtained from, but there are other brands and sources.


Refractometer was used to determine salinity in Richardson Bay: They can be purchased for $50 because they are manufactured by the thousands and used by salt water aquarium owners to monitor salinity.




Drift buoy used to map tidal currents in Richardson Bay: top circular float, 20 cm diameter, is cut from a styrofoam shipping container; four aluminum fins are 24 cm long. A GPS logger is enclosed in a water tight polyethylene container. GPS loggers can be obtained for about $70 because they are manufactured by the thousands for use by photographers, and the GPS chips are manufactured by the millions.






R/V Nano Challenger: Maas Aero class rowing shell used to tow temperature loggers and deploy drift buoys; can maintain a speed of 5 knots for 2 hours and operate in waters as shallow as 0.24 m. She operates out of the Open Water Rowing Center, Sausalito, California (