Adopt-A-Float

Engage directly with world-class scientists and learn about their biogeochemistry and climate change research

 

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.

 

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

Day in the Life of a SOCCOM Float

Animation by Ted Blanco (Climate Central)

SOCCOM in the Tank: Testing the Floats

Follow scientists as they test new technology in SOCCOM floats.

Information Pages

What is a Float?

One page intro to SOCCOM floats.

Float Diagram

Original artwork by Karen Romano Young, designed to be printed out on tabloid size paper 11×17.

Float Specifications

Information webpage that details the four essential characteristics of floats.

Floats Module

Multimedia module about building and deploying these new biogeochemical floats and how they work.

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.

Float List

Adopted Floats Table

Find your float on either the SOCCOM Adopted Floats Table or the GO-BGC Adopted Floats Table. These tables show all the adopted floats, their names, and their WMO (World Meteorological Organization) number.

Interactive Float Map

Interactive Float Map

This interactive map shows current locations and trajectories of SOCCOM biogeochemical floats and provides links to real-time raw and quality-controlled float data. 

3D Float Map

3D Float Visualization

Use your mouse to find your float in this interactive 3D visualization, or use the latitude/longitude of the deployment to help find your location.

Float Viz Graph

Explore Float Data

Use AdoptAFloatViz 6.0 to create a graphs or download digital data for adopted floats.

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.