85th AMS Annual Meeting

Monday, 10 January 2005: 11:15 AM
Education & public outreach for the NASA Aquarius Mission
Annette DeCharon, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, West Boothbay Harbor, ME
Poster PDF (830.3 kB)
Aquarius is a satellite mission being developed to measure global sea surface salinity (SSS). Scheduled to launch in 2008, it will provide the first global map of SSS with unprecedented accuracy, resolution and coverage. Salinity measurements are key to understanding coastal ocean processes; because of its dynamic range in the coastal ocean, salinity is a critical factor in understanding and predicting biological and physical processes and their interactions with the food web, climate, and global water cycle. Salinity data acquired by coastal systems will complement Aquarius’s open ocean measurements. Together, these pioneering efforts to deliver the “missing pieces of the climate puzzle” will undoubtedly intrigue broad audiences. Moreover, climate and its influence on humankind is an integral part of K-16 formal education and common to national learning standards.

The goal of the Education & Public Outreach component of Aquarius is to teach fundamental concepts about salinity variations and the role these changes play in controlling global ocean circulation and Earth’s climate. Education products will appear as modules addressing the mission’s goals and purpose, augment existing El Niño/La Niña materials with salinity based content, provide on-line interactive tools demonstrating environmental change through data sets and in situ time-series analysis, and engage students in activities designed to demonstrate salt-water interactions. Learn more about Aquarius at http://aquarius.gsfc.nasa.gov

Supplementary URL: http://aquarius.gsfc.nasa.gov