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The Aquarius Mission
Bringing Pioneering New Ocean Data to Educators and the Public

 Aquarius
First Aquarius global salinity map released in August 2011
June 2011 marked the launch of 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 detects changes in ocean salinity as small as a "pinch" of salt in a gallon of water.

NASA Aquarius works closely with COSEE-OS for its Education and Public Outreach (EPO) endeavors, including the webinar series described below.

Mapping Earth's Water Cycle
In this webinar as part of the 2014 Earth Science Week, NASA scientists from two different missions (Aquarius and GRACE) discuss how their synergistic research is used to better understand Earth’s water cycle. They also describe a flooding event that occurred in the spring of 2011 in the central U.S., which appeared as a Gulf of Mexico salinity “freshening” event in early September. Featuring JT Reager (Research Scientist, NASA Grace Mission) and Jorge Vázquez (Oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory) [View Archive]

Mapping Our World With Aquarius/SAC-D
Go behind the scenes of this international mission with Sandra Torrusio, SAC-D principal investigator at CONAE, Monica Rabolli, SAC-D deputy investigator at CONAE, and Jorge Vázquez, oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After an overview of the development and operations of the satellite, the presenters will lead you on a journey to discover how Aquarius/SAC-D data can be used to map ocean and Earth processes – from the forest landscape of El Impenetrable, and the habitat of an endangered dolphin species, all the way to Antarctica! [View Archive]

NASA Engineers Share Their Stories
In this Spanish-language webinar, NASA engineers Amri Hernandez-Pellerano (Power System Electronics Designer), Shannon Rodriguez (Microwave Communications Specialist) and Fernando Pellerano (Instrument System Engineera) share what it's like to build and test instruments that operate in space. This concept-map based event includes tips, examples and links to resources that you can use to better understand the world of NASA and how the Agency works with international partners. [View Archive]

NASA's Aquarius Promotes Inquiry-Based Teaching (2-Part Series)
Dr. Susan Lozier (Professor, Duke University) discusses how our ability to construct knowledge about the ocean has evolved over time, primarily through the acquisition of satellite data. Ted Taylor (High School science teacher) demonstrates how selected inquiry-based labs to engage his students in the scientific process and help them develop skills needed for future science courses.
  • Using Aquarius Data: How is Inquiry-Driven Education Brought to the Undergraduate Classroom? [View Archive]
  • How Do We Teach Ocean Concepts in the High School Earth Science Classroom? [View Archive]
NASA's Aquarius Studies Our Salty Seas (2-Part Series)
NASA scientists Yi Chao, Gary Lagerloef and David Le Vine came together for this two part series to discuss the complexities of getting accurate salinity measurements from space. The presentations included recent data collected by the instrument.
Pre-Launch Webinar
Two weeks before the Aquarius/SAC-D satellite launch, the Principal Investigator (PI) Gary Lagerloef and Project Scientist Yi Chao shared their stories about the technological development of the mission and key scientific connections between salinity, the water cycle, ocean circulation and climate.


If you would like additional information about Aquarius Education and Public Outreach, please contact Annette deCharon.