The OOI Ocean Data Labs 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 Labs 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

Screenshot of the Netcdf file not found error

A workaround for a common error on NDBC DODS

I've long touted the advantages of using NDBC data for introducing students to programming and data analysis, with an oceanographically focused dataset. In particular, their DODS Server makes it fairly easy to access decades of data from hundreds…
Cover of the OOI Special Issue in Oceanography Magazine

Student research summaries can help guide activity development

Early on in our OOI Data Labs project planning, we had a big question: Of all the data collected by the OOI, which datasets would really engage students? The OOI has over a thousand instruments deployed across several Arrays, and all of…

Linking Chlorophyll-a to Fisheries Productivity

Data Labs in the Classroom: Teaching Tips from the Community Sara Smith, OOI Data Lab Fellow 2020   My name is Sara Smith and I teach at Bellingham (WA) Technical College in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences program. We are a…
Screenshot of the Ocean Atmosphere Data Investigation activity

EPE Data Investigations Archive

Back in the early days of the OOI, I was part of a small team of designers and developers who were tasked with building tools to support undergraduate education. Our vision consisted of an OOI Ocean Education Portal that included an integrated,…

Building Student Confidence by Investigating Bomb Cyclone Data

Data Labs in the Classroom: Teaching Tips from the Community Dr. Melissa Hicks, OOI Data Lab Fellow 2020   Hello!  My name is Melissa Hicks and I am a Professor in the Chemistry and Physical Sciences Department at Onondaga Community…

Guiding Student Exploration of Primary Productivity

Data Labs in the Classroom: Teaching Tips from the Community Dr. Jean Anastasia, OOI Data Lab Fellow 2020   I teach at Suffolk County Community College, a large, tri-campus community college on Long Island, that is part of the…