SEA Days: Surfin’ into Summer

Every month, the third Saturday is a special day at Birch Aquarium: SEA Days!

As the tagline suggests, SEA Days are always full of  “Science, Exploration and Adventure.” Visitors and members can meet a Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego or local researcher and get hands-on with science, participate in activity stations, and get creative with a thematic craft.

Name: Tyler Cyronak

Hometown: Malvern, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia)

Schooling Background:

Undergraduate from University of Miami

M.S. from University of North Carolina Wilmington

PhD from Southern Cross University

1 word to describe a characteristic a scientist must have: Curiosity

The Smartfin development team.

The Smartfin development team.

1.) How does Smartfin research affect a person’s everyday life?

Our goal is that Smartfin will help bring awareness to the human induced global changes taking place in the ocean.  It will directly affect people who use it by letting them actively take place in scientific research.  My biggest hope is that it will make people more excited about science!

2.) How did you decide to work on this particular issue? 

It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up!  I love to surf and I thought it was a great idea to combine my passion for science with one of my favorite activities.  After working on Smartfin for the past year I have become really interested in citizen science and how it can help scientists understand marine ecosystems.

The Smartfin team in front of Scripps Pier. Many Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists and local San Diegans enjoy surfing by the pier.

The Smartfin team in front of Scripps Pier. Many Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists and local San Diegans enjoy surfing by the pier.

3.) How do you predict the story of our ocean will change in the future? 

The ocean is going to become a very different place due to climate change.  Sea level is going to rise which will reshape coastal habitats.  Ocean chemistry is going to change drastically, it will become hotter, more acidic, and there will be less oxygen.  All of these changes will have big impacts on marine organisms.  Despite all of these negative outlooks, I am hopeful we will be able to stop using fossil fuels and change the path we are currently heading down.

Smartfin will help citizen scientists contribute to ongoing ocean research projects.

Smartfin will help citizen scientists contribute to ongoing ocean research projects.

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Scripps Institution of Oceanography UC San Diego