NOAA Drift Buoys

Students deploying drift buoy

This project guides students through the construction and deployment of “Drift Buoys” with satellite transmitters to track and monitor drift current patterns on Lake Erie. Students are empowered to access weather data to determine tracking influence on the lake. The project provides a basic drifter design and encourages student innovation. This project is facilitated in conjunction with Woods Hole NOAA office. Contact David Boughton to arrange for GPS tracker and lake deployment. 

(Construction Manual, Classroom instruction, Grade 7-12)     

To see the paths for drift buoys deployed by PA Sea Grant in 2012 visit:

For more information about the PA Sea Grant drift buoy project read the Erie Times-NIE page.  For more information about NOAA Drift Buoys go to:




Main Office: Tom Ridge Environmental Center 301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3 Erie, PA 16505 814-217-9011