Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 17:36:31 -0500
Dear JGOFS Colleagues,

A SeaWiFS-JGOFS First -- SeaWiFS guides JGOFS ship operations.

	Yesterday (22 November), while participating in the Ross Sea
Process-IV cruise of the Antarctic Environment and Southern Ocean
Process Study (AESOPS), the R.V.I.B Nathaniel B. Palmer received a
SeaWiFS image showing dramatic and unexpected mesoscale variations in
pigment concentrations of the southern Ross Sea.  Walker Smith, Chief
Scientist aboard the Palmer, has adjusted the cruise schedule to sample
the high-chlorophyll feature over the next two days.  Sampling will be
carried out both to understand the processes and conditions associated
with the formation of high-chlorophyll features in the Ross Sea, and to
provide in situ information for improvement of algorithms used to
construct pigment concentrations.

	Though launched only last summer, and still undergoing testing,
SeaWiFS is already returning impressive and valuable images from the
world's oceans (see  It is
fitting that field investigations and process studies are being guided
from space during the last and, certainly, the most remote U.S. JGOFS
field effort.

	Over the last two to three months there has been an heroic
effort by personnel from NASA-Goddard, Scripps Institution of
Oceanography, and Antarctic Support Associates to set up a system to
collect, process and transmit SeaWiFS images to AESOPS cruises.  To be
honest, I do not know who specifically had hands-on involvement in
getting this first SeaWiFS image to a U.S. JGOFS cruise at sea (I just
received the news a few minutes ago), but I must certainly acknowledge
for their continuing support Chuck McClain and Gene Feldman, at
NASA-Goddard, Greg Mitchell at Scripps, and Andy Archer at ASA.  My
apologies for any omissions.

	These are exciting developments.  Let's hope for cloud-free
days (almost, but not quite, as rare in the Southern Ocean as chicken's
teeth) permitting the acquisition of additional images to follow bloom
conditions, both in the Ross Sea and in the Polar Front Zone.

Bob Anderson