The OOI Ocean Data Lab Project

The National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is advancing our ability to understand the natural world by collecting large quantities of data to address complex oceanographic processes. This expanded access to data also provides professors in the geosciences with new opportunities to engage undergraduate students in authentic data experiences using real-world data sets to teach geoscience processes.

However, students struggle to work with data based on their limited experience and exposure to different data types and sources. Also, supporting students in engaging with the data can be challenging for professors too, as there is a lack of adequate tools to easily digest and manipulate large data sets for in-class learning experiences.

Therefore, the OOI Ocean Data Lab Project (formerly called Data Explorations), with funding from NSF, is developing, testing, refining, and disseminating easy to use, interactive Data Explorations and Data Lab Notebooks that will allow undergraduates to use authentic data in accessible ways while being easy for professors to integrate into their teaching.


Recent Blog Posts

2 years of temperature and salinity data from 30m at Irminger Sea Flanking Mooring B showing the annual cycle.

My ooilab Python Toolbox

Data portals are great for navigating and finding useful datasets. But sometimes, the easiest way to access data is with a bit of code, especially when you want to make your own graphs or do a bit of custom processing (like the above example). For…
Profiles of temperature and salinity from an Argo float off Baja
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Introduction to Python – Argo Float Data

This summer, as part of our virtual REU workshop, we introduced students to the basics of using Python to analyze oceanographic data. When we frantically designed the course back in May (during the early even more frantic days of the pandemic),…
Storytelling with ocean data title slide

Storytelling with Ocean Data

Storytelling with data is a popular topic. In fact, one of the most cited papers in Data Vis, Segel and Heer's 2010 Narrative Visualization: Telling Stories with Data, just celebrated its 10th anniversary and was awarded IEEE's Test of Time…
A graph showing the seasonal cycle of Sea Surface Temperature at NDBC Station 44025
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Introduction to Python – Data Analysis

Weather is something we all experience. Which is why you'll often find weather-related data used in data analysis courses. Of course, as oceanographers, weather data is far more relevant to our research goals, but it's also useful to start with…
Data graph showing NDBC Station 44025 air/sea temps and wind speed

Introduction to Python – Part 2

Teaching students how to visualize ocean data is a challenge. But before you get into cognitive theory, choosing colors, or the the principles of (good) visualization design, you really just need to get your students' feet wet plotting some…
A screenshot of a binder notebook, sowing a graph of a CTD profile.
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How to Share and Run Python Notebooks

Python notebooks are a wonderful tool for sharing and collaborating on code. Built on the open-source backbone of the Python programming language, JupyterLab notebooks (their formal name) allow you to include code, text, formulas and images…