EXPORTS 4: Colors of Phytoplankton
We’re traveling from space to the deep sea with EXPORTS—a NASA and National Science Foundation project that brings together scientists from around the world, to combine new technologies in at-sea research, satellites, and mathematical modeling. EXPORTS findings will greatly advance our understanding of current weather patterns and longer-term climate change.
A critical part of EXPORTS involves understanding the relationship between phytoplankton at the ocean’s surface and carbon transport to the deep sea. The EXPORTS team recently completed a series of studies in the North Pacific Ocean basin, and team members are now preparing to head to sea in the North Atlantic, where they will study seasonal phytoplankton blooms. Meanwhile, NASA’s new PACE mission—to record ocean color in high-resolution from space—will greatly improve scientists ability to make remote observations. Engineers are in the final stages of designing and building the PACE satellite, whose images of ocean color will help scientists identify areas of phytoplankton concentration. Join us as we talk with PACE engineer Gary Davis and scientist Jeremy Werdell, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Then, we’ll visit with EXPORTS researchers Sasha Kramer at the University of California Santa Barbara, Colleen Durkin at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, James Fox at Oregon State University, and Shawnee Traylor at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Watch our previous EXPORTS episodes:
- Grade 5: Ecosystem cycling
- Activity: Compost
- Grade 5: Energy from the Sun
- Activity: Understanding Food Webs
- Grades 6-12: Video Lesson: Slowly Sinking Plankton
- Weird Science: Animal Migration
- NASA activities:
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Kanesa Seraphin, Ph.D.