Engage directly with world-class scientists and learn about their biogeochemistry and climate change research
Floats have been adopted by schools and other organizations around the world. You can see these names from the Adopt-A-Float Tables that show all of the adopted floats, their names, and their WMO (World Meteorological Organization) number.
The Adopt-A-Float Program
We are partnering with teachers and classrooms across the country to inspire and educate students about global ocean biogeochemistry and climate change through our “Adopt-A-Float” initiative. This program creates a powerful opportunity for students of all ages to engage directly with world-class scientists and learn about their research by naming and tracking BGC (biogeochemical) floats. There is no financial cost to adopting a float!
This program has enjoyed tremendous success. From just one classroom in just one school in 2015, the pilot now encompasses over 50 schools across the US as well as Chile, Canada, Australia, Poland, and the U.K.. Adopted float names have honored explorers (RE Byrd, RF Scott, EH Shackleton), scientists (Darwin, Mann, Jorge) and school mascots. We ask that you follow our naming guidelines when selecting a name.
Teachers, students and scientists have expressed strong support for the program, citing a unique opportunity to interact around a shared passion for not only better understanding the Southern Ocean’s outsized role in our climate system but also improving climate models for the global ocean.
Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) floats have been deployed for the last six years and are BGC floats that are placed in the Southern Ocean while GO-BGC floats will be placed elsewhere in the Global Ocean.
We are looking forward to increasing our understanding of the global ocean as we start the GO-BGC effort and invite you to join us by adopting your own float.
Interested in adopting a float?
The process is simple and there is NO COST to educators. Once we receive your application, we will pair your class with scientists scheduled to deploy floats. The students can give a name to a soon-to-be-deployed float, and follow its progress through blogs written by their paired scientists. Check out all of the previously adopted floats here.
During the last two academic years, SOCCOM and GO-BGC have held sticker contests to help bring attention to the Adopt-A-Float program. Check out the 2022 winning design and some honorable mentions!
What is a Float?
A biogeochemical float spends its life drifting through the ocean, changing depth and collecting data at programmed intervals. It is battery-powered and hosts a suite of chemical and optical sensors.
Videos and Animations
How to Access Data
Once you have adopted a float, you can easily access the float data to locate your float, view real-time raw and quality-controlled float data, create graphs, or download digital data. For more information and tutorials, visit our Data Visualization page.
Featured Activities and Lessons
A variety of worksheets and classroom materials have been gathered and/or developed by educators who have adopted floats and used the data in their classrooms. The following activities, lesson plans, and learning modules can help students understand and synthesize different types of float data.