EBSTC and the Berkeley chapter are planning a trip to the Bay Model on Saturday, June 3. Contact us if you are interested in joining us on this excursion. Patrick Lufkin, who is arranging the excursion, explains what is the Bay Model and its significance to technical communicators.
The Bay Model is a huge–several acres–working model of San Francisco Bay and the Delta, operated by the Corps of Engineers. Once a working scientific research tool, it is now primarily an educational site. It offers a unique experience that very few people in the Bay Area know anything about. We all live in the Bay Area and deal with the state’s water issues, and it behooves us to know more about them.
The Bay Model is also interesting from a technical communication perspective. In maintaining the Model, the Corps of Engineers as taken what was once a scientific instrument, and turned it into a technical communication tool. It marshals a full range of technical communication techniques to deliver its content, telling the story of the Bay, the Delta, and California’s unique history and situation with respect to water. To do so, it uses dioramas, posters, signage, and more. There is a small theatre and a movie. There is an audio station where information is available via telephone style head phones. And of course, there is the huge Bay Model itself, a fully labeled and detailed working model–pumps move the tides up and down during the day–of the Bay and delta. You can circumnavigate the Bay, walk over parts of it on bridges, and become aware of parts of it most of us have never visited. There is also a room dedicated to ship building on the Bay during the “Rosie the Riveter” period of WWII.
The Bay Model is located on a main road just north of Sausalito and both the Model and parking are free. For more information, visit the Bay Model website.
Patrick Lufkin has experience in computer documentation, newsletter production, and public relations. He reads widely in science, history, and current affairs, as well as on writing and editing. He chairs the Gordon Scholarship for Technical Communication and co-chairs the Northern California Technical Communication competition.