One of COSEE's main goals is assisting scientists in the development of meaningful, high-impact methods for sharing their knowledge. Scientists Making an Impact is an online case-study project that presents in-depth studies of 13 COSEE scientists and is designed to help early-career scientists understand the collaborations needed, challenges faced and rewards reaped from partaking in educational activities along with the pursuit of research.

Mary Jane Perry - Pioneering Collaborator
Mary Jane Perry
Dr. Mary Jane Perry expanded her expertise in scientific collaboration to include outreach by working with COSEE-Ocean Systems on an innovative webinar series about the North Atlantic Bloom (NAB). Dr. Perry and her colleagues took on the ambitious challenge of measuring this massive phytoplankton bloom using a coordinated armada of oceanography tools.

Because of the complex nature and breadth of the NAB experiment, the webinar series -- archived online for long-term access -- offers meaningful linkages to most of the "cross-cutting scientific concepts" outlined in the New Framework of the National Science Education Standards. Accompanying each webinar archive is a dataset activity, co-developed by NAB scientists, for use in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses.

Dr. Mary Jane Perry and colleagues discuss their participation
on the North Atlantic Bloom Webinar series

NAB Science
Click images to enlarge
The NAB Experiment was designed to study an important component of the oceanic carbon system - the North Atlantic spring bloom. This huge phytoplankton growth drives the uptake of carbon dioxide, a key component of the carbon cycle. Previous studies showed the importance of collecting new information on small temporal and spatial scales -- i.e., understanding ecosystem "patchiness" -- but were restricted by the limitations of ship-based sampling. However, recent advances in autonomous platforms and sensors presented an opportunity to study the NAB in a new way. In addition to deployment of a diverse suite of in situ sampling devices, the NAB experiment was also a test-bed for developing strategic methods to drive the next generation of ocean observations.

Over the course of three cruises, a float, four sea gliders and instruments on two research vessels were used to sample the initiation, growth and demise of the 2008 North Atlantic spring bloom. Measurements from autonomous sensors, as well as more traditional ship-based measurements, were used to get a fuller understanding of the processes involved in the bloom.

Seven participating scientists were interviewed after the webinar series to reflect on their experiences, including what they learned during the process. The full case study (containing interview footage, interactive concept maps and other resources) is scheduled to be published on the Engaging Scientists website in late July.

Eric D'Asaro
Eric D'Asaro, Ph.D.
Senior Principal Oceanographer, University of Washington
Video: Embracing new media for education and outreach
Ivona Cetinic
Ivona Cetinic, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Darling Marine Center
Video: Collaboration in the creation of data-based activities
Amala Mahadevan
Amala Mahadevan, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Video: The rewards of sharing your science
Nicole Poulton
Nicole Poulton, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Video: The interdisciplinary nature of large-scale oceanographic research

Concept Maps
Each webinar presenter worked to create an interactive concept map loaded with educational resources. Below are the concept maps from each individual webinar, which can be viewed in detail by clicking on the image of the map.

Concept map
Concept map
Concept map
Concept map
Concept map
Map #1
Map #2
Map #3
Map #4
Map #5

Map #1: Introduction to the North Atlantic Bloom - Mary Jane Perry
Map #2: What Triggers the Bloom? - Amala Mahadevan
Map #3: Measuring the Bloom - Eric D'Asaro
Map #4: Marine Food Web and Carbon Cycling - Nicole Poulton & Ivona Cetinic
Map #5: Broader Implications - Craig Lee

North Atlantic Bloom Experiment Webpage
North Atlantic Bloom Webinar Archive Pages
COSEE-OS Webinar Homepage

The Role of COSEE-OS in Scientist-Driven Webinars
COSEE-OS first piloted scientist-focused webinars with its Research Based Online Learning Event (ROLE) Model series, each of which was a "stand-alone" event. When approached by Dr. Perry and her colleagues, it was decided that the complex "NAB story" would be better shared as series of webinars: one central "story" told from various viewpoints. COSEE-OS worked with the NAB team to create an overview concept map for the whole series and also with each presenter to hone his/her individual story and map(s). The collective effort -- executed in summer 2011 -- was a learning experience for all!