Saint Louis University

Faculty and students from Saint Louis University's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences will be launching weather balloons and gathering data as part of a NASA research program taking place in August and September. The launches will take place near the Saint Louis Science Center's James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park.


The program, SEACIONS (Southern American Consortium for Intensive Ozonesonde Network Study), is being established to support the SEAC4RS (Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys) mission.

SLU will be one of six SEACIONS sites and will launch 34 ozonesondes (weather balloons with ozone sensors) in support of the SEAC4RS deployment beginning Monday, Aug. 12, and running through mid-September. Training sessions and launches also are scheduled Thursday, Aug. 8 through Saturday, Aug. 10 and observers are welcome. Launches will take place at approximately 2 p.m. which coincides with satellite overpasses. The data from each weather balloon launch can be viewed within 24 hours on the website:

The SLU team, led by meteorology professor Jack Fishman, Ph.D., will receive special training from SEACIONS principal investigator Gary Morris, Ph.D., professor of physics at Valparaiso University and graduate of Saint Louis University High School. They will be responsible for the pre-launch conditioning and set-up of the ozonesondes inside the Planetarium, the balloon launches, following the flight and transmitting the data to Dr. Morris.

SLU has collaborated with the Science Center on environmental science projects and choosing the Planetarium as the launch site for the weather balloons allows the public to observe firsthand how this kind of air quality data is collected.

For additional information, contact Dr. Fishman at