Abstract: The "Visit to an Ocean Planet" CD-ROM reveals the importance of our oceans to global climate and life. It allows users to explore the Gulf of Mexico with satellite data, investigate the 1997-98 El Nino, discover "what's up" with Earth-orbiting satellites, and learn about the research activities of real life oceanographers.
The CD-ROM is divided into 3 main sections; Expedition, Mission, and ... Guide. "Expedition: Gulf of Mexico" is a section whereby you can plan a scientific cruise in the Gulf of Mexico to study whales. Use real scientific data for planning, and build a cruise notebook to decide where and when to go. "Expedition: El Nino" helps you see how our eyes in the sky detected this weather and climate altering event and "Expedition: Meet the Oceanographers" introduces you to some of the people who have made contributions to oceanic sciences and discoveries. In Mission, you will discover may details about the TOPEX/Poseidon mission and learn about previous and future missions. The Guide contains science curriculum and classroom activities. This section also contains movies, images, and background materials for planning your lessons.
The classroom activities are also available on the web site (http://topex-www.jpl.nasa.gov/education/activities.html) in PDF Format. These activities were provided by various educational organizations and educators for inclusion on the Visit to an Ocean Planet CD-ROM. Activities are divided into 3 categories; climate, oceans, and life each accompanied by an overview, an experiment and a list of objectives.