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Café Scientifique: Observing the microscopic living (and non-living) ocean from space

August 29, 2019 @ 6:15 pm - 7:30 pm

cafe scientifique

Yes indeed, satellites flying 450 miles above us can be used to explore the microscopic ocean. “Observing the microscopic living (and non-living) ocean from space” will provide an overview of the field of satellite ocean color.  The contents of the upper ocean shape the distribution of the marine light field and give the ocean its color.  By measuring the spectral distribution of light leaving the ocean (that is, its “ocean color”), satellite radiometers can be used to infer the contents of the water column, including information useful for fisheries and watershed management and water quality monitoring. This presentation will review how ocean color works, why everyone should care about phytoplankton, and the current state-of-the-art in satellite ocean color – including a peek at NASA’s next great Earth observing mission, PACE.  It will also demystify the acquisition, use, and analysis of satellite ocean color data products.

Reserve your seat by calling 410-626-9796. If you reserve a seat and your plans change, please release your seats.

Jeremy WerdellSpeaker: Dr. Jeremy Werdell, Oceanographer in the Ocean Ecology Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), where he also serves as the Project Scientist for the upcoming Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission.

Dr. Jeremy Werdell is an Oceanographer in the Ocean Ecology Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), where he also serves as the Project Scientist for the upcoming Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission. Jeremy resolved to become a marine scientist in 1988 upon his return from an eighth grade science trip to the Bermuda Biological Station for Research. After a quick stint in high school, he received his B.A. in Biology and in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia in 1996 and his M.S. in Oceanography from the University of Connecticut in 1998.  Jeremy joined GSFC in 1999, where he has remained ever since, as all oceanographers with a penchant for motion sickness should. When the stars properly aligned in 2014, Jeremy received his Ph.D. from the University of Maine. His primary interest focuses on improving our understanding of the ocean’s biological responses to Earth’s changing climate – namely, how the spatial distributions of phytoplankton communities evolve over time. If one cares about breathing and eating and aquatic recreation, then one cares about phytoplankton. Given that Jeremy wears a NASA badge, his mandatory secondary interests extend to the more challenging aspects of satellite remote sensing, including the on-orbit calibration of ocean color instruments, the development of remote-sensing algorithms, and the validation of satellite-derived data products. These, in combination with his subject matter living in a three-dimensional fluid on a rotating ellipsoid, create a research environment packed with opportunities to contribute to NASA’s pursuit of better understanding our home planet. When not traveling with his family and obsessing about his yard, Jeremy also moonlights as a teacher and student mentor. If he had to do it all again, he would pursue his real dream of becoming a professional chef.

Annapolis Café Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology.


August 29, 2019
6:15 pm - 7:30 pm
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49 West Coffeehouse, Wine Bar & Gallery
49 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401


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