College and Beyond

Exploring Data through Ocean Tracks

This video was featured in the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase, held May 15-22, 2017. View the presentation.

Reviewing Ocean Tracks at Scripps

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.

To Make a Video?

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.

What does the Data/Big Data Practitioner need to know and be able to do?

Cover of the Profile of the Data PractitionerIt is no longer news that the use of data-based decision making has reached a critical mass in every industry sector.

Assessing Global Kelp Forest Change: From “Little” To “Big” Data

I can feel the energy of the waves gently pushing at my body, the sound of bubbles rising by my ears. I look down at my underwater clipboard and carefully write down “5”; the number of kelp stems, or fronds, that I’ve just counted. I let my tethered pencil go, and it floats up in front of me as a fish swims by. Everything seems to move in slow motion around me. I am relaxed, but focused.

Standing Up and Being Counted

I got up at 4:15 AM to fly from Monterey, CA to Boston, and I don’t fly back until November 8 – which meant that one of the last things I did last night, after packing and before falling asleep, was to fill out my absentee ballot for the big election. I am so relieved. I’ve voted. Any more last-minute surprises will be too little, too late.

Teaching to Teach with Data

This past weekend I was invited to run a 2 1/2 day workshop for the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative. CCURI (pronounced “curry”) is an NSF-funded program involving 50 community colleges, and the focus of this workshop was to engage a dozen CCURI professors in developing activities for their students to work with authentic scientific data.

Profile of the Data Practitioner

In April 2016, a panel of Big Data experts identified the big data skills, knowledge and behaviors of a "Data Practitioner" that are needed in the workplace. The panelists represent a diverse array of industries, including biotechnology, finance, law enforcement, health care, agriculture, and public policy.

Data Visualization — A Matter of Perception

What an expert sees in a data visualization is not what a novice sees.  This is an important lesson learned from a two-year project undertaken by the Oceans of Data Institute, funded by the National Science Foundation.

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