"Ocean color" refers primarily to the measurement of the green pigment called chlorophyll, which is contained in phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are free-floating plants that are the foundation of the ocean's food chain.
Giovanni stands for the "Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) Online Visualization and Analysis Infrastructure." NASA recently released three Giovanni tutorials demonstrating how students can conduct research with ocean color data. Use of such technical information was previously only possible for experienced scientists with advanced computer systems.
Scientists and software developers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md., designed Giovanni. The initial release of this Web tool allows users to see ocean color data from the SeaWiFS satellite. Data from other ocean color missions will be added, including data from NASA's Aqua satellite. Giovanni development is part of the Ocean Color Time-Series Project, headed by Dr. Watson Gregg, a NASA GSFC oceanographer.
Dr. James Acker of the GES DISC Oceans Data Team created three tutorials geared for high school and college level students. These tutorials help students identify research questions that can be answered with ocean color data.
"In creating these tutorials, I discovered features in the data that were a complete surprise," Acker said. "The tutorials show how to use Giovanni, and how students can use it to make new discoveries, potentially contributing to ocean science."
In the first tutorial, Dr. Acker looked at the chlorophyll patterns in the Gulf of Panama to see if they were influenced by El N
Contact: Cynthia O'Carroll
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center