Oct. 14—Fun rerun: Dave Kinney sent in the photo shown, along with a question: "I was wondering if you knew what that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration equipment is on the causeway on Pier 36?" It looks like one of those robots from a bad 1950s science fiction movie.
The Ear emailed Dave's photo to Beverly Drury at the Point Adams Research Station in Hammond to see if she knew its purpose. Nope, she didn't, but she said she'd pass the email around, and someone was bound to know the answer.
The next day, Michelle Rub, a fisheries biologist at the research station, called back. The equipment is actually a radio receiver; it only receives, and does not transmit. It is listening to and recording data from the radio tags on fish and sea lions — each one has its own individual tag — so NOAA can track them. And now you know. (In One Ear, 3/18/2016)