Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Ocean Systems
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COSEE-OS Introduces Concept Mapping to NASA Scientists - 04.13.2011

Aquarius Project Scientist Dr. Yi Chao and Education and Outreach Specialist Annie Richardson compare concepts before creating a collaborative map
On April 6th, COSEE-OS facilitated a short workshop at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA with the aim of introducing NASA researchers to the technique of concept mapping. Several Earth scientists as well as education and outreach staff participated in the workshop introducing them to use of concept mapping as a versatile tool for reaching audiences with varied backgrounds and levels of education.

During the workshop, COSEE-OS staff gave an overview of concept mapping and researchers then worked in pairs to create custom concept maps about climate and satellites, linked to topics related to their own research. The participants then shared their concept maps and received feedback from their colleagues.

Two participating scientists, Felix Landerer and Dimitris Menemenlis, will also participate in a JPL Educator-Scientist workshop on June 3-4 where they will work with K-12 educators to refine maps covering major content areas of the water cycle, ocean circulation and climate. This workshop is being held in advance of the launch of the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite on June 9th.

Aquarius will employ advanced technologies to make NASA's first space-based measurements of ocean salinity across the globe - an important observation for ocean and climate studies. From 650 kilometers (400 miles) above Earth's surface, Aquarius will detect changes in ocean salinity as small as a "pinch" of salt in a gallon of water.

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