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GSL's Science On a Sphere® transitions to operations

November 17, 2021


Global Systems Laboratory’s (GSL) Science On a Sphere ® operations began the transition From GSL to the NOAA Office of Education on October 1, becoming the first official research-to-education operations transfer at NOAA. This flagship education and technology program has long been a shining star for NOAA and our efforts to bring NOAA’s global data products to as many people as possible. Science On a Sphere® can be found in over 170 locations around the world at some of the largest public-serving science centers and museums, including Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum.

In addition to the Science on a Sphere®, the team developed a ground-breaking free app for mobile devices, SOS Explorer ™, which displays Science On a Sphere®️ (SOS) visual data. The app brings the educational SOS tool found in science centers and museums across the country to a vastly larger worldwide audience. The team developed innovative software solutions to minimize data transfer requirements, enabling SOS display on mobile devices across networks that may not be high speed.

“GSL is proud to be a part of the first official research-to-education operations transfer at NOAA, which is a huge accomplishment for the SOS team,” said GSL Director Jennifer Mahoney. “We look forward to continuing our data visualization research in support of NOAA.”

While the funding for the SOS program now comes from the Office of Education, research activities as part of the SOS program will continue through GSL. Positions with project activities that are considered “operations” have been moved to the Office of Education. The team will continue to be located at the NOAA offices in Boulder. Data visualization research using Science On a Sphere® will continue at GSL.