Team Member Highlight: Kassondra Watson – NASA FINESST Award

In late 2023, Kassondra Watson was awarded the NASA Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology Award (FINESST). The prestigious three year award for promising graduate students will support the research “Dynamics and Decadal Changes in Marine Phytoplankton Blooms Captured in the Ocean Color Remote Sensing Record” through mid-2026.

The overarching objective of this research project is to improve our understanding of open ocean phytoplankton blooms through NASA remote sensing assets, how they are changing in time, and how these changes are linked to physical ocean properties influenced by climate variability.

Congratulations Kassondra!

Phytoplankton Communities from Space

A new paper is out today that reviews the ocean science community’s needs and upcoming opportunities for obtaining phytoplankton community composition in the surface ocean using satellites, and particularly, a soon to be launched satellite with advanced capabilities – the NASA PACE Ocean Color Instrument.

Phytoplankton composition from sPACE: Requirements, opportunities, and challenges

Diel Changes in Phytoplankton Bio-optical Properties

A new paper is out, led by N. Baetge from the Phytoplankton Ecophysiology Col(Lab)oration, that looks at the diel changes in optical properties of three phytoplankton species. The diel changes observed in bio-optical properties differed in both timing and magnitude across phytoplankton species. These results have important implications for remote sensing observations and the impact of phytoplankton community composition on the optical properties of interest.

Storms, phytoplankton, and viruses – Oh My!

Brian VerWey successfully defended his master’s thesis on December 4th, 2023! His research explored the fate of phytoplankton and associated carbon pools after deep mixing events in the North Atlantic Ocean as part of NASA’s EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing project. Congratulations Brian!