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Autonomous Bio-Sampler

Members of the Center for Tactical Magic collaborated with eco-artist Basia Irland to re-design the bio-sampling gear used by Kari Burr, an aquatic biologist.

In Kari's daily work for the environmental organization, DeltaKeeper, she conducts various tests to determine water quality in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary and its tributaries. Prior to the collaboration, Kari would haul a large, plastic crate containing various scientific equipment to each site along the waterways. Often she would have to load the crate into a canoe, hike with it for up to 2 miles across varying terrain, and sort through the gear when she needed to find something. After much planning and consultation, a solution was developed.

By combining elements used in Basia Irland's backpack water-library with design features of the CTM's Ultimate Jacket, we were able to re-organize and integrate Kari's equipment into a single garment. This hybridized outfit fuses functional strategies often used in tactical duty wear, construction worker clothing, fishing gear, and other utilitarian attire. Now, Kari has everything within hand's reach, neatly sorted into different pockets supported by the vest. Items are well-protected and accessible, yet evenly-distributed to prevent a heavy or bulky feel. In addition, the garment is well-ventilated and roomy enough to allow for ease of movement.

As of mid-June 2004, the Bio-Sampler Vest has been in use on a regular basis, making it easier to help protect the environment.