As an oceanography instructor, I aim to engage students with authentic data, particularly when introducing concepts or processes. One of my primary learning objectives for introductory students is to interpret and critically analyze data presented to them. Data interpretation has become an important 21st century skill for students who may only complete a single college level science course. Oceanographic data can be visualized in so many ways: depth profiles, spatial scales (local, regional...Read more
ODI is the sum of many parts. Comprised of 18 projects (5 actively funded) and about 25 staff, there are a lot of moving pieces to ODI. At any given time—in addition to the regular day-to-day work of moving 5 NSF-funded projects forward successfully—our staff is attending or presenting at conferences, meeting with partners and funders, and/or working on proposals for future work. As you might imagine, we are careful to prioritize our time.
When the opportunity of the...Read more
In the mid-1980s, the technology for electronically tracking ocean wildlife was just being developed. Early electronic tags relied on acoustic pings to communicate location and depth, and required captains and crews using directional hydrophones to actively follow marine animals through the ocean – for hours or days at a time.
The first challenge in using these technologies, of course was getting close enough to the animals to attach the tags to them. Fortunately, tournament...Read more
It’s been a few months since I last contributed to the ODI blog, and boy, a lot has happened in my blogging hiatus! We had leaks, hacks, an election, and the Cubs finally won the World Series (though I’m still not convinced this last one isn’t “fake news”). Through it all, the ODI team has been hard at work making new connections and continuing our efforts to better prepare K-16 students with the data literacy skills required to navigate the aforementioned rapidly changing world....Read more
At ODI, we spend a lot of time writing about the ever-increasing flood of data that our society produces. As scientists (which many of us in ODI happen to be), we tend to focus our thinking on the rapidly growing number of sensors deployed in every imaginable setting on our planet (and beyond!), producing endless streams of data – giving us a fundamentally new window into the workings of the world.
But there are also more and more devices much closer to home, producing rich and...Read more
It is no longer news that the use of data-based decision making has reached a critical mass in every industry sector. There were...Read more
I can feel the energy of the waves gently pushing at my body, the sound of bubbles rising by my ears. I look down at my underwater clipboard and carefully write down “5”; the number of kelp stems, or fronds, that I’ve just counted. I let my tethered pencil go, and it floats up in front of me as a fish swims by. Everything seems to move in slow motion around me. I am relaxed, but focused. I need to finish measuring all the kelp plants along three, 20m transect lines laid out in front of me;...Read more
I got up at 4:15 AM to fly from Monterey, CA to Boston, and I don’t fly back until November 8 – which meant that one of the last things I did last night, after packing and before falling asleep, was to fill out my absentee ballot for the big election. I am so relieved. I’ve voted. Any more last-minute surprises will be too little, too late.
Perhaps it is because of my professional interest in data, or maybe it is my concern about the ramifications of our electorate’s decision next...Read more
This past weekend I was invited to run a 2 1/2 day workshop for the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative. CCURI (pronounced “curry”) is an NSF-funded program involving 50 community colleges, and the focus of this workshop was to engage a dozen CCURI professors in developing activities for their students to work with authentic scientific data.
I was joined in my efforts by my close friend and colleague Bill Finzer from the Concord Consortium. Creator of Fathom and CODAP...Read more
What an expert sees in a data visualization is not what a novice sees. This is an important lesson learned from a two-year project undertaken by the Oceans of Data Institute, funded by the National Science Foundation.
Our visual system doesn’t operate like a camera, capturing pictures in our memory. Rather, visual perception is better described as information...Read more