Climate Outreach Using Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System Portals
Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Coastal oceans are dynamic, changing environments affected by processes ranging from seconds to millennia. On the east and west coast of the U.S., regional observing systems have deployed and sustained a remarkable diverse array of observing tools and sensors. Data portals visualize and provide access to real-time sensor networks. Portals have emerged as an interactive tool for educators to help students explore and understand climate. Bringing data portals to outreach events, into classrooms, and onto tablets and smartphones enables educators to address topics and phenomena happening right now. For example at the 2015 Charleston Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Festival, visitors navigated the SECOORA (Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing regional Association) data portal to view the real-time marine meteorological conditions off South Carolina. Map-based entry points provide an intuitive interface for most students, an array of time series and other visualizations depict many of the essential principles of climate science manifest in the coastal zone, and data down-load/ extract options provide access to the data and documentation for further inquiry by advanced users. Beyond the exposition of climate principles, the portal experience reveals remarkable technologies in action and shows how the observing system is enabled by the activity of many different partners.