In this special issue of Oceanography, Eric Lindstrom, Frank Bryan, and Ray Schmitt explore the results of SPURS-1, the first part of the ocean process study Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study (SPURS). The experiment was conducted between August 2012 and October 2013 in the subtropical North Atlantic and was the first of two experiments (SPURS come in pairs!). SPURS-2 is planned for 2016-2017 in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. SPURS and Aquarius are synergistic effort to understand the patterns and variations of salinity at the ocean's surface.