Title of Poster / Presentation

Discovering the Plankton Community Composition – Global Climate Functions Relationship in Real Time

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Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Subjects

Plankton -- Ecology, Plankton -- Geographical distribution -- Remote sensing, Biogeochemistry, Oceanography, Plankton populations

Department

Biology

Advisor

Anne W. Thompson

Student Level

Undergraduate

Abstract

Phytoplankton are microscopic cells which make impacts so vast they can be detected from Space. They live in communities with one another, symbionts, and predators. Global functions of phytoplankton include oxygen production, carbon fixation, driving the marine food web, driving the biological carbon pump, and maintaining the microbial loop. Measuring abundance and distribution of different types of phytoplankton is important to understand their extensive ecological roles and relationships to earth’s biogeochemistry.

NASA’s remote sensing data has been used extensively in phytoplankton research since the 1980s. Even today, however, satellite data shows little distinction within this diverse group. Remote sensing only detects chlorophyll-a which counts most phytoplankton together like a homogeneous mixture of light. Other chlorophylls, carotenoids, and pigments exist in ratios unique to different phytoplankton types. Remote sensing technology with higher spectral resolution could identify these distinct pigment ratios as ‘fingerprints’ of different types.

Therefore, NASA and partners have been working for over a decade to launch the Plankton Aerosols Clouds and Ecosystems (PACE) mission. The satellite will have multispectral polarimetry, LiDAR, and hyperspectral resolution. With PACE, remote sensing will be capable of observing down to 1000 M ocean depths, detecting aerosols, reducing reflectance, detecting pigments, and finding plankton community compositions.

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35440

WatsonK_PSU_Symp_TRANSCRIPT.pdf (242 kB)
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Discovering the Plankton Community Composition – Global Climate Functions Relationship in Real Time

Phytoplankton are microscopic cells which make impacts so vast they can be detected from Space. They live in communities with one another, symbionts, and predators. Global functions of phytoplankton include oxygen production, carbon fixation, driving the marine food web, driving the biological carbon pump, and maintaining the microbial loop. Measuring abundance and distribution of different types of phytoplankton is important to understand their extensive ecological roles and relationships to earth’s biogeochemistry.

NASA’s remote sensing data has been used extensively in phytoplankton research since the 1980s. Even today, however, satellite data shows little distinction within this diverse group. Remote sensing only detects chlorophyll-a which counts most phytoplankton together like a homogeneous mixture of light. Other chlorophylls, carotenoids, and pigments exist in ratios unique to different phytoplankton types. Remote sensing technology with higher spectral resolution could identify these distinct pigment ratios as ‘fingerprints’ of different types.

Therefore, NASA and partners have been working for over a decade to launch the Plankton Aerosols Clouds and Ecosystems (PACE) mission. The satellite will have multispectral polarimetry, LiDAR, and hyperspectral resolution. With PACE, remote sensing will be capable of observing down to 1000 M ocean depths, detecting aerosols, reducing reflectance, detecting pigments, and finding plankton community compositions.

Feedback to consider:

  • Did the presentation keep you engaged?
  • Did you find any aspects of the presentation unique and enjoyable
  • Are you confused about any specific topics or concepts from the presentation?
  • Did you find the images and visualizations distracting or informative?
  • Did you notice the presenter overuse jargon or misuse any terminology?
  • Did the presenter sound knowledgeable about what they were presenting?
  • Do you feel like you learned from the presentation? If so, what was your favorite thing?
  • Any and All Feedback beyond these questions is more than welcome!

Feedback Form