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Understanding Ocean Chemistry and Biology Using Real-Time Data From Profiling Floats
 Profiling float
Real-time data play an important role in science education by adding relevance to the learning experience, by enabling self-discovery and inquiry, and by providing opportunity for dialogue between students and researchers (Adams and Masumoto, 2011). Over the past decade, profiling floats (such as Argo) have proven to be excellent platforms for deployment of biogeochemical sensors. Data are available year round and sensors clearly resolve seasonal cycles. Seasonal changes in phytoplankton biomass, uptake of nitrate as an essential fertilizer, and the production of oxygen can all be observed.

A global distribution of profiling biogeochemical floats allows students and teachers to contrast processes in the tropics with events at high latitudes. Data streams from profiling floats are well defined, enabling simple, point and click interfaces, such as FloatViz or Oceanographic Autonomous Observations (OAO). Examples using data easily accessed from the classroom are presented. As networks of biogeochemical floats expand, the types of lessons will also expand. We present our vision for incorporating truly global data sets into the learning environment.

Presented by Kenneth Johnson, George Matsumoto, Carolyn Scheurle, Herve Claustre, Mary Jane Perry, and Stephen Riser at the 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT

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