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Catherine Edwards inspecting a glider at Gliderpalooza 2013

Catherine Edwards Studies Hurricanes in Real Time

Catherine Edwards, a researcher at the UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, has worked tirelessly to establish a 5- university consortium in order to use robots to better understand hurricanes. These robots, called autonomous underwater vehicles or gliders, are far cheaper and much safer- as they do not have the need to be physically manned. The research network is known as SECOORA (the Southeastern Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association). Recently, one of these gliders completed a zig-zag patterned trip from Cape Canaveral to North Carolina- though it was only one of many that have been sent out since the beginning of the project. According to Catherine, "we think this kind of mission, where you're basically making temperature heat maps of the coastal ocean all the way out to the Gulf Stream, will be really useful in helping to understand how hurricanes work." In 2013, Catherine even had the chance to send out 12 gliders at the same time in an event that was dubbed Gliderpalooza. These robots can also be used to actively track patterns of tagged fish and send the information back to researchers- the applications for these little robots are endless in terms of underwater research. We are so proud to have Catherine a part of the team!

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