If the past month has done nothing else, it has shown us what a powerful force data can be in our daily lives. As the number of American lives lost from COVID passes half a million, state and county governments monitor the falling case rate data, which will determine when they can begin to re-open schools and businesses.
In Texas and across the Midwest, officials are having to come to terms with the fact that historical averages in weather patterns are not useful predictors of the...Read more
The Exploring Urban Mobility: Using Data to Solve Problems of the Future is creating data-intensive lessons for high school students to think about issues of urban mobility. Hear from one of the curriculum authors about the focus of one of the lessons: Hurricane Katrina.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about how we can better teach science using data. I believe that 21st Century science is increasingly data-intensive, and that in order to teach science as it is actually being practiced, it should be possible to identify datasets and data stories relevant to most, if not all, topics in modern science to use in the classroom.
So, being a biologist, I began by looking into the world of modern biology – seeking areas where new frontiers are...Read more
In May, I visited La Jolla and Scripps Institute of Oceanography for the first time. Coming from Maine and what seemed like a never-ending winter I was looking forwards to the sun and warmth of California. Of course, I arrived on an unusually rainy day. However, the weather soon returned to its usual splendor and I walked along the shore to the meeting room at Scripps where I was to help work on the undergraduate modules of Ocean Tracks.
I was one of three faculty at this meeting, all...Read more
A scientist, a teacher, and a data analyst walk into a room…
This describes the start of 4 days of intense discussion about the Ocean Tracks-College Edition (OT-CE) modules. Early in May, ODI’s Ocean Tracks curriculum development team met with faculty, like myself, who had used the OT-CE materials in their classrooms. I teach biology at Portland Community College and joined the workshop after testing three of the modules with my students. Since it was still raining in Oregon, it was...Read more
ODI is the sum of many parts. Comprised of 18 projects (5 actively funded) and about 25 staff, there are a lot of moving pieces to ODI. At any given time—in addition to the regular day-to-day work of moving 5 NSF-funded projects forward successfully—our staff is attending or presenting at conferences, meeting with partners and funders, and/or working on proposals for future work. As you might imagine, we are careful to prioritize our time.
When the opportunity of the...Read more
In the mid-1980s, the technology for electronically tracking ocean wildlife was just being developed. Early electronic tags relied on acoustic pings to communicate location and depth, and required captains and crews using directional hydrophones to actively follow marine animals through the ocean – for hours or days at a time.
The first challenge in using these technologies, of course was getting close enough to the animals to attach the tags to them. Fortunately, tournament...Read more
It’s been a few months since I last contributed to the ODI blog, and boy, a lot has happened in my blogging hiatus! We had leaks, hacks, an election, and the Cubs finally won the World Series (though I’m still not convinced this last one isn’t “fake news”). Through it all, the ODI team has been hard at work making new connections and continuing our efforts to better prepare K-16 students with the data literacy skills required to navigate the aforementioned rapidly changing world....Read more
At ODI, we spend a lot of time writing about the ever-increasing flood of data that our society produces. As scientists (which many of us in ODI happen to be), we tend to focus our thinking on the rapidly growing number of sensors deployed in every imaginable setting on our planet (and beyond!), producing endless streams of data – giving us a fundamentally new window into the workings of the world.
But there are also more and more devices much closer to home, producing rich and...Read more