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Exploring Ocean Color Data in the Classroom

Exploring Ocean Color Data in the Classroom

This guide introduces educators to the use of ocean color data in the classroom. The data, from NASA's Ocean Biology Processing Group, are used to examine biological activity and physical and biological interactions in the oceans. This particular dataset examines oceanographic processes at the surface and links biological activity, such as phytoplankton blooms, with physical properties such as sea surface temperature and circulation patterns. Topics include estuarine dynamics; ocean current systems; upwelling; El Nino and La Nina variability; and climate change. Students will learn to interpret remote sensing data to examine relationships between upwelling and primary productivity; understand sea surface temperature and current oscillations; explore the effects of estuaries on coastal regions; and examine temporal and spatial changes in primary productivity. Links are provided to access the dataset, to scientific references and educational resources that use it, and to other materials on phytoplankton productivity, remote sensing, and ocean color.


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