News & Announcements

Brice Grunert to Lead New Research Funded by NASA Office of Earth Science

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science will utilize data from NASA’s Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite

GrunertDr. Brice Grunert, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences (BGES), will lead a new study to validate satellite data with "on-the-water" measurements in the Great Lakes. The four-year, $949,830 project is funded by NASA's Office of Earth Science and is titled "Validation of PACE OCI science data products across diverse optical and trophic gradients of the Great Lakes."

The next generation Ocean Color Instrument (OCI) on board the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and ocean Ecosystem (PACE) observatory will provide advanced spectral resolution and signal-to-noise ratio imagery about the changing biogeochemical cycles of inland, coastal and global ocean aquatic systems. The PACE system will launch in 2024, and acquire systematic ocean color, aerosol, and cloud data records for Earth system and climate studies.

Dr. Grunert and co-investigator Audrey Ciochetto, a research associate at CSU, are interested in validating imagery that the satellite acquires of the Great Lakes, and will compare satellite observations with data collected by science vessels on the Great Lakes across multiple seasons. The Great Lakes provide a diverse range of water conditions in terms of optical clarity, dissolved materials, and elements of the food chain like phytoplankton (microscopic marine algae). This includes relatively clear water in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, high levels of dissolved organic matter in sections of Lake Superior, and high levels of phytoplankton (algal blooms) in Lake Erie's western basin. Together, these observations will provide a critical validation dataset for the PACE OCI across a range of trophic (nutrient) and optical conditions in the Great Lakes.