A drifting buoy was adopted and deployed in November 2011 as part of NOAA's Adopt a Drifter Program, and is being followed by students as it tracks northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. In partnership with the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, HI, students from Leilehua High School in Wahiawa, HI, along with two schools in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (Marshall Islands High School and Majuro Cooperative High School), co-adopted a NOAA drifting buoy.
Two students and a teacher from Leilehua High School were present at the launch of the drifter more than three miles out from Pearl Harbor while on board the NOAA Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Research Vessel Kohola. Jennifer Faught, a member of the Adopt a Drifter Program team, was also aboard the vessel to assist with the launch.
The drifters transmit hourly sea surface temperature data and their GPS coordinates, and reveal the patterns of global ocean currents, which can be viewed at http://www.adp.noaa.gov/track_drifting_buoys.html. NOAA's Adopt a Drifter Program tracks the adopted buoys by satellite and students can plot their drifter's data, along with data from a network of 1,250 drifters, to discover things like how sea surface temperatures compare between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The drifters' path also helps students learn how the ocean circulates in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
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