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Library Seminars: Archived Seminars

Sunburst Sensors: Oceanographic Instrumentation from Montana to Mauritius

by Katie Rowley on 2020-09-09T14:27:45-04:00 in NOAA Innovators Series | Comments

Date: September 9, 2020

Speaker: James C. Beck - Sunburst Sensors, LLC (Missoula, MT) - CEO/Chief Engineer

Abstract: Sunburst Sensors, located in Missoula, MT is a small company that has done big things in its 20-year history. Its instruments are used around the world to study ocean acidification and the marine carbonate system. Winners of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE (2015), Sunburst Sensors continues to develop new products to help scientists understand important ocean processes. Sunburst Sensors has taken advantage of grants from the NOAA SBIR program, the NOPP program, and other funding along the way to help innovate. Its sensors are being used under the ice in the arctic and in the shallows of the reefs of Mauritius. 

Key Takeaways
1. SBIR funding programs are an important means for small companies to innovate and develop products that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day.
2. Ocean acidification, driven by anthropogenic carbon dioxide needs to be understood and mitigated. Providing instrumentation for this is part of Sunburst Sensors' mission.

About the Speaker: James C. Beck is the CEO of Sunburst Sensors, LLC of Missoula, MT, and its Chief Engineer. For the last fifteen years he has worked with co-owner, Mike DeGrandpre on the development of pH, pCO2 and alkalinity sensors for marine and freshwater applications, while building the company into a competitive player in the biogeochemical instrumentation market. He has his BSME from MIT and MSME from the University of Washington.  

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