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Weather Station Creates New Tool For City College Classes

There’s a new weather station at Santa Barbara City College, and it’s doing a lot more than just take the temperature — it’s a new tool for teaching.

The station has been up for just a couple of weeks, and it’s already tracking important data the school can use for classes.

The $9,000 weather station was provided by the Adams Legacy Foundation which gave SBCC a $12,000 grant.

The pole-like observation site doesn’t look like much, but it is state-of-the-art.

“Up here we’re looking at an anemometer; it’s showing us wind speed and wind direction. We’ve got a thermometer in here, pyranometer; it show us how much energy is being received from the sun,” said Michael Robinson, an assistant professor at Santa Barbara City College.

It’s the first of its kind on campus, and the data can be found by just visiting a website.

The online access is convenient for students.

“Just clicked on the tab, and it pops up right there. Shows you the weather, the air speed, the velocity of the wind — all you need to know about what you should wear to City College today,” said student Brian Curle.

With the information he found, Curle wore a T-shirt and shorts to school.

The weather station is a partnership between City College and Santa Barbara County’s Public Works.

Robinson has been envisioning the station for nearly a year.

“This is super exciting. Not only for me and the classes that I teach — now students get to see real time what the weather’s like right now, and we can use those data in our class,” he said.

But its uses won’t be limited to the classroom.

Mark Broomfield is the grounds maintenance supervisor at the college and will use the information from the station to save water on campus.

“It’s super important to use every drop as efficient as possible,” he said.

The plan is for the high-tech equipment to connect with the irrigation system to determine how much water to use and where.

“And there would be very little human interaction in-between. It would actually just water what we actually needed,” said Broomfield.

Click here to view the weather station webpage.

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