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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 perspective, the biggest disruption of the past year was […]

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 about 3 years, I’ve been using Python notebooks to grab […]


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), we originally intended to introduce students to data from both NDBC moorings and Argo profilers.  In […]

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 award. That paper cataloged many of the visualization styles being used by the NYTimes and […]

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 data. This summer, as part our Virtual REU 2-week mini-workshop, we challenged students to work in groups […]


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 all in a single sharable file. What’s more, the ecosystem for sharing and running these files has expanded over […]

Polar Literacy Principles for Science Communication

This week was #ScienceLiteracyWeek in Canada, and as part of the campaign, the Arctic Relations blog asked Janice McDonnell, Ocean Data Labs Project PI, to share her thoughts on developing and Using the Polar Literacy Principles in Science Communication. We encourage you to check out her thoughts on the Arctic Relations website. And if you […]

Data Labs Tutorial at WHOI

Today I had the opportunity to virtually present an introduction to the Ocean Data Labs project, along with a short tutorial on working with OOI Profiler data to the WHOI Ocean Informatics Working Group. We had over 40 participants attend, including undergraduate students, faculty and career scientists. (Oh, and Tropical Storm Isaias was barreling down […]


Waves Across the Pacific

We spend a lot of time talking about the wonders and potential of the Ocean Observatories Initiative during our Data Labs workshops.  After all, the OOI includes a large collection of standard and cutting-edge instruments that allow us to monitor the ocean like never before.  High-resolution, realtime data, along with the OOI’s comprehensive ability measure bio-geo-chemical-physical interactions […]

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Show Your Stripes

About a year ago, I ran across the cool new site for the #ShowYourStripes campaign. On the site, you can download a customized climate anomaly graph for any country or state.  Spoiler alert: they’re all trending from blue towards red as the global climate warms, but there is quite a bit of variability from place to […]