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SOLAS Summer School 2003

Principal Investigator: Wade R. McGillis

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July 1,2002 to June 30,2003

PI: Wade R. McGillis
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Program Manager: Dr. Kathy Tedesco, NOAA Office of Global Programs

This project provided travel support for eight United States student~ ~nd one lecturer to Ajaccio, France to participate in the first SOLAS international summer school held from June 30 to July 11,2003. The purpose of this school was to introduce graduate students and young researchers to different components of SOLAS research including biogeochemical interactions and feedbacks, exchange processes, and air-sea fluxes.

The overall goal of SOLAS is to understand biogeochemical and physical couplings between the surface ocean and the lower atmosphere and the associated influences on climate. While some air-sea exchange processes are well understood at the local level, they remain inaccurately quantified globally. For example, in spite of the fact that the partial pressure of CO2 in water and the atmosphere is relatively well measured in the North Atlantic, the mean flux of CO2 is known to less than 50% accuracy and its variability in inadequately known. For other processes, even the theoretical principles of local interactions remain uncertain. The generation of dimethylsulphide (a precursor of atmospheric sulphate aerosols and cloud condensation nuclei) is, for instance, linked to phytoplankton through unknown mechanisms. Building both on recent oceanographic and atmospheric research, SOLAS is a positive attempt at advancing ~he understanding of air-sea processes through interdisciplinary collaborations.

The SOLAS summer school used a theoretical framework, practical exercises, and laboratory experiments to promote an intensive learning environment. Most importantly, it provided the opportunity for young researchers interested in SOLAS science to meet one another and interact with lecturers currently researching these important global issues.

SOLAS summer school web pages ( describe the experience and are expected to include a sampling of lectures. These lectures covered such topics as the global carbon cycle, biogeochemical modeling, gas exchange, physical and biogeochemical processes in the coastal zone, data assimilation, and marine ecology. Practical workshops included a research cruise near Cargese, laboratory experiments, computer modeling, meteorological observations, and instruction in oral and written communication skills. The experience culminated in student presentations on a variety of research topics, which are listed in the SOLAS web pages.

This proved to be a significant opportunity for students to enhance their knowledge with interdisciplinary instruction and form alliances capable of addressing the future challenges that face the field.

Publication on Gas Exchange Lesson Produced: First International SOLAS School: AirSea Gas Exchange Practical Workshop, edited by C. J. Zappa, B. Ward, D. T. Ho, R.
Wanninkhof and W. R. McGillis, 2003.

Last updated: August 19, 2008

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