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Want To Be A Sea Level Researcher? Here's Your Chance, For A Day.

Participants in Sea Level Solutions Day get the chance to be "citizen scientists" and help researchers collect water samples.
Florida International University
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Sea-level rise is beginning to impact everyday life for some neighborhoods in South Florida: roads flood, insurance prices rise, and cities and counties ask voters to help pay for adaptation projects. There may soon be impacts to the Internet.

But the water's rising only millimeters at a time. And the majority of people here don't experience serious flooding.

That's why scientists, policymakers and non-profits worried about the region's future are trying to figure out how to get more South Floridians to care.

One idea? Having "citizen scientists" help with research on the rising sea.

On Saturday, Florida International University is hosting a "Sea Level Solutions Day" in Miami-Dade County. The public is invited to help FIU researchers collect water samples and take photographs of King Tide flooding.

"We're collecting information to better understand where and when flooding is occurring at a local level," said Tiffany Troxler, director of science at FIU's Sea Level Solutions Center. "It gives us information on depth of flooding, whether there's salt in that water. We do some sampling of nutrients, and we try to get an idea of whether there's bacteria in the water."

Participants will start from the Miami Rowing Club on Key Biscayne, where they'll receive sampling kits and training from the scientists. They'll go to sites throughout Miami-Dade to take water samples and photos for an app. Troxler says the data will be used to improve maps of where and when flooding occurs. Registration is required.

The project is in conjunction with FIU's " Eyes on the Rise" project, where residents can enter an address and see how much a foot (or two or three) of sea-level rise might impact their home.

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Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.