Shop Windows to the Universe

Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
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?

What if you wanted to learn more about the climate of a very large area of the world? What would be involved in studying how the oceans, land, and atmosphere interact? You would need to have a team of experts to help you out.

This is exactly what the VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS) field campaign intends to do! VAMOS stands for Variability of the American Monsoon System. VOCALS is a month long international field experiment focused on learning more about the climate of the South American Continent and the Southeast Pacific Ocean. The VOCALS outdoor laboratory includes the land of subequatorial Peru down to about 35 degrees South in Chile and the Southeast Pacific Ocean out to about 110W. Although slightly outside of this area, Easter Island is also included. This very large area has not been as well studied as the Northern Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. The VOCALS campaign will change that!

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

VOCALS will involve 150 scientists, engineers, and technicians from 40 universities and nine countries. New measurements will produce much-needed information about the Southeast Pacific region. VOCALS will collect data from satellites, four aircraft, and two research ships containing scientific instruments. Data will also be collected from ocean buoys and locations in Chile. This data will be used to improve climate models.

Although VOCALS takes place in October 2008, it required many months of planning before it began. And once the data has been collected, the researchers will study it for many years. Come back soon to learn more about their careers and discoveries!

Last modified October 10, 2008 by Julia Genyuk.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology, rocks and minerals, oceanography, and Earth system science to astronomy!

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

Clouds and Precipitation in the Southeast Pacific

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

Introduction to VOCALS Science

Scientists know that west coasts of Chile and Peru and the Southeastern Pacific Ocean are a very important part of the global climate system. However, they don't completely understand how the oceans, atmosphere,...more

What are the results of VOCALS?

Scientists must work very hard to understand the data collected in field campaigns like VOCALS. They must review and study it to determine what has been learned. Many model runs will be made and analyzed....more

Southeast Pacific Climate

The Southeast Pacific Ocean region off the coastal areas of Peru and Chile is one part of the world where stratus and stratocumulus clouds are frequently present. Other areas include the subtropical climate...more

Human Impacts in the Southeast Pacific Region

What is the connection between human activity in western Chile and Peru and the Southeast Pacific climate system? Much of this region is very sparsely populated. The lack of rainfall limits where people...more

Satellites in the VOCALS Field Campaign

Scientists use lots of data from satellites in the VOCALS field campaign. They also gather data from instruments on ships and on airplanes. When they combine data from satellites, ships, and aircraft,...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA