Wave Glider and Diatom Research

Wave Glider

Wave Glider

Tracy Villareal, a professor of marine science at the University of Texas at Austin uses the Wave Glider to monitor diatom blooms. Dr. Villareal talks about how expensive it can be to pay for the use of a research vessel and crew when doing research out at sea. Although the Wave Glider isn’t exactly cheap, the cost of studying diatom blooms is significantly cheaper and much more efficient. In his interview with Yale Environment 360 he talks about how it can cost up to $50,000 a day to use a research vessel.

Dr. Villareal’s diatom research is essential for understanding climate change. Diatom phytoplankton act as a key puzzle piece for our marine forests by consuming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Liquid Robotics is the company that provided the Wave Glider for Dr. Villareal to use as an important research tool. This is another great example of technology revolutionizing the way we explore and learn.


Woody T. 11NOV2013. Using Ocean Robots to Unlock Mysteries of CO2 and the Seas References. Yale Environment 360. Accessed 19 February, 2016.






  1. I just did a blog on art and drones also and the same benefit they have for cost of operating the drone these researchers have as well. It seems that cheaper operation of the drones is going to push them farther and farther into the future. Whether it be for research or for art, drones are the new inexpensive way to go.

  2. It’s super cool that the wave glider has solar panels! It can do research to help the environment without causing to much damage to the environment it is studying.

  3. Very interesting how this high tech surfboard has allowed researches to get the same data that a research vessel can obtain. This method of extracting data is less expensive and more safe for researchers. Hopefully now we can get a better understanding of climate change.

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