Benjamin Thompson is a surfer, but what’s equally important to know is that he’s also an engineer. And now, Thompson is using this rare combination of skills to build a new product that could radically expand our understanding of the world’s oceans. Smart Phin is a surfboard fin equipped with a special sensor that not only tracks a surfer’s location, but also measures the temperature, salinity, and acidity of the water to give researchers insight on the impact of climate change over time. Since then, Lost Bird Project has been the sole backer of the Smart Phin, and will have distribution rights once the product is complete. But it could take some time to get to a commercial product. In addition to the rigorous testing being done through the XPRIZE Foundation, the sensor is also being vetted by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.