Earth Educators Rendezvous, Nashville, TN

Data Labs: Using Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI) Data to Engage Students in Oceanography

July 16-17, 2019

Earth Educators Rendezvous Workshop Page

Join us for this two-day National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored workshop focused on the integration of Ocean Observing Initiative (OOI) data into undergraduate teaching of introductory oceanography themes and concepts. Harness the constant flow of data streaming in from ocean research arrays to engage students in addressing real world problems and working with data. Participants will explore ways to effectively teach with data, share effective practices, and brainstorm ideas for how to integrate OOI data into introductory oceanography and Earth and environmental science courses. Professors from Community Colleges, Primary Undergraduate Institutions (PUI), and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who teach introductory courses (100 and 200 level) are especially encouraged to attend.

The project is able to provide participants in this workshop a two-day registration compensation and lunch for the two days of the workshop. In addition, a $300 stipend is available for those who participate in the entire two-day workshop, modify an existing activity, test it in their class, and provide feedback to the project.

This workshop is by application only, with a limit of 20 participants. Preference will be given to faculty at two-year colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, and HBCUs, who teach intro to oceanography and those who have or want to build experience teaching with data/OOI.

Please bring a laptop to this workshop.


By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Learn about the OOI program and the key science questions it addresses.
  • Access existing tools and resources designed to integrate OOI data into teaching.
  • Learn how to effectively incorporate OOI Data Labs into your classes.
  • Network with other professors interested in using oceanographic data in undergraduate classrooms.

Workshop Overview


Day One – Tuesday, July 16

Time Topic, Objectives & Activities
1:30-2:15 The OOI Today: An introduction to its history and the science it supports
Understand the driving forces that created the OOI and how it can enable future scientific research
Understand what the OOI was designed to do and why

2:15-3:00 Example Implementation of a Data Lab in the Classroom: Anoxic Events
Dr. Kathy Browne (Rider University), Dr. Rebecca Freeman (University of Kentucky), and Dr. Lauren Sahl (Maine Maritime Academy) share their experience developing and implementing this new Data Lab.

3:00-3:45 Explore the Existing Data Labs Collection
Hands on exploration of the Data Labs online collection of Data Explorations

Data Explorations round-robin discussion and reflection

  1. Exploration – Chlorophyll across the year
  2. Application – Chlorophyll in and off shore
  3. Exploration – Processes that Change Salinity
  4. Application – Changes in Salinity with Depth
  5. Exploration – Plate Boundary Features
  6. Application – Geological Features of a Seamount – 2
3:45-4:00 Day 1 Reflection & Evaluation
Day 1 Roadcheck

Day Two – Wednesday, July 17

Time Topic, Objectives & Activities
1:30-2:00 Teaching with Data
Explore the big picture of skills needed to make decisions about different graph types

2:00-2:45 Explore OOI Science: A Case Study from the Irminger Sea
Explore a published dataset from the Global Irminger Sea Array that demonstrates a disciplinary core idea and the visualization process. Gain experience with the Jigsaw Research Discussion format.

2:45-3:00 How do I effectively integrate OOI data into my teaching? – Introduction to the Learning Cycle
Introduce common language/pedagogy for how we introduce and apply OOI data in our teaching.

3:00-3:45 Create an implementation plan

  • How will you implement this in your teaching next year?
  • Refer to the Learning Cycle for guidance and consider the OOI Data Crosswalk correlations with a typical introductory textbook.
3:45-4:00 Final Reflection & Evaluation
Final Workshop Evaluation

Workshop Participants



  • Sage Lichtenwalner (@visualocean), Rutgers University – New Brunswick
  • Janice McDonnell, Rutgers University – New Brunswick