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


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…

Ocean Data Labs looks back at 2020

Last year was a tumultuous one for the history books, to put it mildly. And while many of us already trying to forget the year that was 2020, the Ocean Data Labs community actually has a lot to be proud of. Of course, from an educational…
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…