Satellites & Bleaching

Introduction

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Welcome    |    About Coral Reef Watch
bleached coral

Bleached coral next to a coral with normal coloration. Photo by Mark Eakin, NOAA Coral Reef Watch.

The purpose of these modules is to introduce some tools used to pinpoint areas around the world where corals are presently at risk for bleaching.

The Coral Reef Watch program, part of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), assesses bleaching risk from satellites, so the first sections will provide some background on satellite remote sensing. The following sections focus on the tools we produce from the NOAA satellite data: sea surface temperature, anomaly, coral bleaching HotSpots, and Degree Heating Weeks. In separate PDF documents, you will find some hands-on exercises to test yourself on what you have learned.

The aim of this tutorial is to teach you enough about these products so that you can feel comfortable using the data independently in the future. You will gain the skills needed to access and use up-to-date information about where coral bleaching may be happening around the world.

Our main audience for these lessons is coral reef managers and scientists, who need to know when corals they manage or study are at risk for bleaching. However, we have also tried to make this tutorial instructive for students and teachers - or anyone else, for that matter, who wants to learn more about coral reefs and satellite technology. The lessons are tied to the U.S. National Science Education standards for use in the classroom.

The tutorial is content rich and presented in easy-to-understand language. It is made up of 11 "chapters" (plus Reference and Resource pages) that can be read in sequence by clicking on the arrows at the top or bottom of each chapter page. The tutorial includes many illustrative and interactive graphics to enhance the text.


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