Aquarius First Light Data

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Gary Lagerloef

Earth and Space Research

Dr. Lagerloef completed a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography at the University of Washington in 1984. In 1995, he co-founded Earth and Space Research, a non-profit scientific research institute in Seattle where he has developed several research projects devoted to studies of the upper ocean dynamics and climate variability using satellites.

Webinar Clip
Dr. Lagerloef describes the first three months of data collected by NASA's Aquarius satellite mission and why these data are so groundbreaking. In the clip, Dr. Lagerloef shows freshwater features in the ocean that had previously not been well-studied or even well-known. These features include the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers freshwater plumes and the Bay of Bengal during monsoon season.

Full webinar: What Is Aquarius Data Telling Us? (Part 2)

Click here for a transcript of this clip (PDF, 46.5 KB).

Applicable Science Standards
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Scientific investigations produce data that must be analyzed in order to derive meaning. Because data patterns and trends are not always obvious, scientists use a range of tools - including tabulation, graphical interpretation, visualization, and statistical analysis - to identify the significant features and patterns in the data. Scientists identify sources of error in the investigations and calculate the degree of certainty in the results. Modern technology makes the collection of large data sets much easier, providing secondary sources for analysis.
  • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking. In both science and engineering, mathematics and computation are fundamental tools for representing physical variables and their relationships. They are used for a range of tasks such as constructing simulations; solving equations exactly or approximately; and recognizing, expressing, and applying quantitative relationships.
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. The goal of science is the construction of theories that provide explanatory accounts of the world. A theory becomes accepted when it has multiple lines of empirical evidence and greater explanatory power of phenomena than previous theories.