Environmental Monitoring by Citizen Scientists Using Sonic Kayaks

Posted on December 6th, 2017

Researchers  from the transdisciplinary laboratory FoAM Kernow and the Bicrophonic Research Institute have developed a system for citizens to monitor the environment through a popular outdoor activity: you can ride on a Kayak. Using hardware and software now available to the public, paddlers are given the opportunity to finely map water temperatures and underwater noise. This data was not previously attainable using standard equipment.

The Sonic Kayak allows kayakers to transform the data into sounds in real time, using underwater environmental sensors and speakers, producing live music from the marine area below. The sensor data is recorded along with GPS location, time and date. This collection of information demonstrates newfound possibilities in tracking and quantifying marine noise pollution.

This technology can be used for data collection by citizen scientists, for research by professional scientists, or as a study in live experimental music.

The Sonic Kayak is a defining development as it combines biosciences, sound art, coding, remote sensing and datalogging, and sports; demonstrating possibilities in multidisciplinary research.
You can find out more about the Sonic Kayak, and where to acquire your equipment before next summer at:


Valerie Gorman

Environmental Scientist, JM Sorge, Inc.

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