A pump-and-probe (P&P) airborne LIDAR has been recently developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. It provides remote measurement of phytoplankton photosynthetic variables along with pigment and organic matter fluorescence, down-welling and upwelling hyperspectral measurements and sea surface temperature. The utilization of an airborne platform provides for rapid remote characterization of phytoplankton photosynthetic activity, biomass and diversity over large aquatic areas. The P&P LIDAR technique is one of the first practical implementations of 'superactive' remote sensing. This presentation summarizes results of six airborne measurement campaigns conducted in 1999-2002 in the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Middle Atlantic Bight, and Gulf of Mexico. The P&P technology has been complemented by a Laser Phytoplankton Analyzer (LPA), a shipboard laser fluorometer dedicated to technological advancement in pigment analysis that will be implemented in future LIDAR systems. It combines high-resolution spectral measurements of phytoplankton pigment fluorescence excited at several selected wavelengths with active assessment of the physiological status of the phytoplankton photosynthetic apparatus. Emission/excitation measurements provide a potential for assessing concentrations of photosynthetic accessory pigments (Chlorophyll a, b, c, photosynthetic carotenoids and phycobilins) and identifying major phytoplankton functional groups. The LPA was extensively tested in laboratory experiments with phytoplankton cultures and their mixtures. In November 2002, the LPA was utilized for pigment fluorescence analysis of natural phytoplankton over a range if environmental conditions on a research cruise in the Middle Atlantic Bight and Delaware Bay.