Team Highlight: Dr. Edward Cokelet

Team Highlight: Dr. Edward Cokelet

Saildrone data guru, Dr. Edward Cokelet talks about his role and his favorite explorer.

Dr. EDWARD COKELET is a Physical Oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Dr. Cokelet has advised on the instruments a Saildrone carries and the data fields transmitted back to the lab. He receives daily Saildrone data transmissions and plots the results, looking for both environmental insight and possible instrument errors. To learn a bit more, we asked Dr. Cokelet a few questions.

What is your ROLE with ITAE? I advise on Saildrone’s instrumentation, the variables they measure, their sampling frequency, and the data fields transmitted ashore.

What is unique about this project?  Saildrone is the World’s first wind-powered autonomous vehicle that makes atmospheric and oceanic measurements.  It receives its motive power from the wind and its electrical power from the sun.  It will expand the reach of shipboard oceanographic measurements in a cost-effective manner.    

Who is your favorite explorer?  Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian sportsman, explorer, oceanographer and statesman.  He designed his own ship, Fram, to withstand entrapment in sea ice to enable it to drift across the North Pole.  He developed a water-sampling bottle still used today –  the Nansen Bottle – to take deep-water samples for later analysis aboard ship.  When it was clear that Fram would not reach the North Pole, Nansen and a colleague disembarked to ski to the pole, attaining the northernmost human penetration in 1895.  Finding their goal impossible, they made their way hundreds of miles across the sea ice to a remote Arctic Island where they overwintered, eating walrus and polar bear.  They returned to Norway as heroes in 1896 having spent 3 years away.  Nansen’s exploits provided new insight into the Arctic and popularized the sport of snow skiing.  He promoted Norwegian independence and became that new nation’s first ambassador to the League of Nations.  Nansen received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his refugee work.    

Want to learn more about Dr. Cokelet? Email us your questions!