Now and then we are lucky enough to have someone ‘appear’ at FHL who is just right to fill an empty niche. Kirk Sato is that person for us. The FHL Ocean Observing system that he discusses below had spent several years in a mostly-finished but not fully functional state, and we had no staff with the time or expertise to solve the seemingly intractable problems that remained. When Kirk applied to be the FHL Postdoc, it was clear he was the right person to help us out of this bind! He had expertise in ocean chemistry and its effects on ecosystems, he was good at managing large databases and he came with a lot of technical know-how. Kirk has not only filled the role we hoped, but I’m confident his efforts will advance the field of ocean science. Over the past year, Kirk’s leadership has helped secure short-term funding to keep the project afloat and to upgrade the system to be more user-friendly, streamlined and flexible. In the coming months, we expect to be able to announce that various types of data are streaming live to the public!
We know we can’t keep Kirk here without long-term funding and unfortunately, granting organizations don’t like to pay for day-to-day maintenance and operations. So, that’s our next problem to solve. In the meantime, we are so grateful for Kirk’s energy, skills and enthusiasm.
Dr. Megan Dethier