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Seeking Salt: Measuring A Key Ingredient of Climate NASA SPURS Webinar Series

Everyone knows that the ocean is salty, but did you know that salt is essential to the recipe for our entire climate and life on Earth?


You are invited to participate in a webinar applicable to all disciplines of STEM – solidly connected to the Next Generation Science Standards (in development). Each webinar will feature an interactive concept map loaded with educational resources that can serve as a starting point for you to start to “sprinkle” ocean salinity into your teaching.


Seeking Salt: 

Measuring a Key Ingredient of Climate

NASA SPURS Webinar Series


Join three prominent scientists from the SPURS (Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study) research effort as they share their newest findings and contribute to the core understanding of ocean processes. The series will explore ways in which SPURS scientists are seeking to better understand ocean salinity – which affects everything from the water cycle to climate change.

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From Sailing Ships to Satellites: Studying Salinity Through A Sensor Web

February 26 at 7pm ET / 4pm PT – Presented by Dr. Eric Lindstrom


What is a sensor web, and how does it help SPURS? Dr. Eric Lindstrom will take us on engaging trip through salinity research and will reveal how ocean exploration has evolved over time. The SPURS team took part in an international collaborative effort to better understand this fundamental part of the ocean and climate system, and used a combination of approaches to investigate what’s happening in the unique “ocean desert” of the North Atlantic.


Next Generation Science Standards:

“…New technologies can have deep impacts on society and the environment, including some that were not anticipated. Analysis of costs and benefits is a critical aspect of decisions about technology.” (HS-ESS2-b), (HS-ESS2-e)

“…Scientific discoveries about the natural world can often lead to new and improved technologies, which are developed through the engineering design process.” (3-ESS3-b)



Salinity’s Connection to Climate Change and an Accelerated Water Cycle

March 5 at 7pm ET / 4pm PT – Presented by Dr. Ray Schmitt


What affects ocean salinity, and why should we care? The saltiness of the ocean is controlled by the water cycle. And the temperature and salinity of ocean water together control ocean density – the crucial driver of ocean circulation. Dr. Schmitt will explain how ocean circulation works and its profound impacts on the climate.


Next Generation Science Standards:

“…How the unequal heating of Earth’s surface and Earth’s rotation result in patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that vary with latitude, altitude, and geographic land distribution.” MS-ESS2-h

“…How changes in temperature and salinity cause changes in ocean water density and as a result, affect the formation and movement of interconnected ocean currents.” MS-ESS2-k



Follow that Salt! SPURS Results and the Future of Salinity Exploration

March 12 at 7pm ET / 4pm PT – Presented by Dr. Fred Bingham


What have we learned about the SPURS site and what’s next? The interdisciplinary cruise undertaken by SPURS scientists involved the coordination of an armada of technology – from in-water instruments to shipboard measurements to satellites in orbit around Earth. Dr. Bingham will show us the results of the team’s research, including real data collected during the cruise.


Next Generation Science Standards

“…Construct explanations from models of oceanic and atmospheric circulation for the development of local and regional climates.” MS-ESS2-j

“…The physical and chemical properties of water …and the impact of water on the flow of energy and the cycling of matter within and among Earth systems” HS-ESS2-i


For more information about SPURS, visit the SPURS Education Pages at:


We hope that you will join us for this salty webinar series!

Published in News STEM Activities