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Nerds Without Borders Hit the Beach

Newly hatched sea turtles

Newly hatched sea turtles make their way to the ocean.

An item from O’Reilly’s IoT+ Newsletter that caught my eye:

Two million human visitors share the Cape Hatteras National Seashore with endangered turtles. To protect the turtle nests and hatchlings during the hatching period the beaches must be closed—but because it’s difficult to gauge when exactly the baby turtles will hatch, the beach is closed for 6 weeks from the discovery of the nest.

Nerds Without Borders has created nest monitor devices with a microcontroller, accelerometer, thermometer, and communications system inside a ping-pong ball (which, conveniently, looks a lot like a turtle egg).

These sensors more accurately determine when hatching will take place—allowing the beaches to be closed for much shorter periods and giving researchers a heads up when hatching will happen. Duane Benson explains.

(And if you’re wondering where the baby turtles go after they hatch and head out to sea…)


About Nerds Without Borders

Nerds Without Borders is a network of thoughtful people working collaboratively to solve many of the world’s most pressing problems. They are looking for all sorts of people to help: Engineers, Scientists, Writers, Artists, Dreamers, Activists, Organizers, Fundraisers, Financiers, among others. You define the type of work you want to do, and how much time you can commit to a project. Learn more at http://nerdswithoutborders.net

Comments: 2

  1. I’m a native of Cape Hatteras, born on this island and my family was originally shipwrecked here. The National Park Service closing our most popular beaches, even to walk on, during the entire tourist season has completely destroyed the business community here. We need laws that protect humans and humans civil liberties! Not a joke! To think that our tax dollars are being spent to destroy hard working small businesses in Cape Hatteras is sickening. In the Cayman Islands there is a turtle farm, they serve turtle soup! Can’t there be a middle ground somewhere?

  2. There is a middle ground, and the innovative technologies that Nerds Without Borders have come up with to monitor the turtles’ nests is a move in the right direction for all parties. The devices will certainly shorten the amount of time that beaches need to be closed, benefitting businesses, beachgoers, and the endangered turtles.

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