Shop Windows to the Universe

The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
The VOCALS field campaign is studying the ocean, atmosphere, clouds, and land in the Southeast Pacific region to better understand climate.
Windows to the Universe / Lisa Gardiner

What is VOCALS?

Sometimes scientists have to go far from home to find answers to their questions. Just like you, they have many questions, such as: What types of clouds form over the Pacific Ocean? What instruments should I use to learn more about clouds? Does the temperature of the oceans affect what clouds form in the atmosphere? Can mountains affect the wind? Can air pollution change clouds and weather? What controls Earth’s climate?

Scientists from many countries want to find answers to these questions. They are using the Southeast Pacific area as a huge outdoor laboratory during the VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS). VAMOS stands for Variability of the American Monsoon System. The Southeast Pacific area that will be studied is near the west coasts of Peru and Chile in South America.

You can learn more about climate of the Southeast Pacific with our Flash interactive.

With help from technicians and engineers, they will make many new measurements of the clouds, weather, and climate. This will be exciting, because their instruments will be located on satellites, airplanes, ships, and on land. Come back soon to learn what VOCALS scientists are doing, far away from their homes (unless their home is Chile!).

Last modified October 10, 2008 by Julia Genyuk.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Ocean-Atmosphere Coupling in the Southeast Pacific

There are many connections between the ocean and the atmosphere in the Southeast Pacific Ocean. Strong winds blow north along the coast of South America. These winds stir up the ocean. That brings cold...more

What are the results of VOCALS?

Scientists must work very hard! It will take time for them to understand the information they collected during VOCALS. They must study the measurements and use them to improve their models of clouds,...more

Southeast Pacific Climate

There are a lot of clouds over the Southeast Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Peru and Chile in South America. In fact, this area has the largest amount of stratus and stratocumulus clouds in the world!...more

Human Impacts in the Southeast Pacific Region

Mining and fishing are very important activities to the people who live in Chile and Peru. Do you think these activities could be connected to the climate in this area? Scientists in the VOCALS field experiment...more

Clouds and Precipitation in the Southeast Pacific

The Southeast Pacific region contains the world's largest set of stratocumulus clouds. These clouds extend for almost 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) off the west coast of South America from central Chile...more

Introduction to VOCALS Science

During the month of October 2008, a team of scientists is going to the Southeastern Pacific Ocean and parts of Chile and Peru. They will make observations and take measurements to learn more about how...more

Satellites in the VOCALS Field Campaign

Scientists use satellites in the VOCALS field campaign. They also gather data from instruments on ships and on airplanes. They put the data from the satellites, ships, and aircraft together to get a better...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF