National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

What's New

Global map with thousands of orange, yellow and blue dots highlighting the three different types of Argo floats in the ocean

The Argo Program was developed in 1999 and today supports a global array of almost 4,000 robotic profiling floats that measure the temperature and salinity of the upper 2,000 meters (1.2 miles) of the ocean. Argo floats are now being tested to dive down to a depth of 6,000 meters (3.7 miles) and have additional sensors on them to collect information about the biology and the chemistry (oxygen, pH, nitrate, suspended particles, and downwelling irradiance) of the global ocean. Credit: Nina Buzby (University of Washington)

October 31, 2022

PMEL’s Global Observations of Biogeochemistry and Ocean Physics research group is looking for high school teachers and classrooms in the greater Puget Sound region to join our new outreach program, Adopt-A-Float. PMEL researchers are using autonomous robots called Argo profiling floats that measure physical, chemical, and biological variables in the ocean to understand the impacts of climate and ecosystem changes. 

PMEL deploys about 60 floats each year and classrooms can engage with a dedicated float as it collects crucial data across the ocean. 

Each classroom involved in the PMEL Adopt-A-Float Program will get to adopt a float that is about to be deployed in the ocean. Classes will get to:

  1. Name the float
  2. Create an associated image or logo to be placed on the float prior to deployment
  3. Learn how to view the float data online
  4. Develop hypotheses on what that float might “see” once deployed 
  5. Have in-person or virtual classroom visits with scientists
  6. Access teaching/demo materials, including lesson plans on how to view and download  data from your adopted float
  7. Tour PMEL

To get started or learn more about the Adopt A Float outreach program, contact the team via email at

PMEL in the News

November 07, 2022

...Not too far down the coast, piles of dead Dungeness crab washed ashore on Kalaloch Beach this summer. Meanwhile, fishers have shared stories about hoisting up dead or suffocating crabs in their pots, said Jenny Waddell, research ecologist with the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Now...

October 24, 2022

Gliderssaildrones, Argo floats, and self-driving submarines: meet the new generation of robots that are testing technical boundaries and changing the face of oceanography. Greg Johnson is quoted in the "Argo Innovations" side...

August 15, 2022

Right now, a broad plume of cool water has pooled in the Pacific Ocean, west of South America. It's the signature of La Niña.  While Australia waits to see whether La Niña will be declared, the United States has already called it, using slightly less stringent criteria. Mike McPhaden is featured...