Using the seawater toolbox

Alexander Stine
,
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  1. This activity was selected for the Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB Peer Reviewed Teaching Collection

    This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

    • Computational, Quantitative, and Scientific Accuracy
    • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
    • Pedagogic Effectiveness
    • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
    • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

    For more information about the peer review process itself, please see https://serc.carleton.edu/teaching_computation/materials/activity_review.html.

  2. This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

    This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

    • Scientific Accuracy
    • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
    • Pedagogic Effectiveness
    • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
    • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

    For more information about the peer review process itself, please see https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/activity_review.html.


This page first made public: Oct 12, 2015

Summary

In this lab, students learn to use the matlab seawater toolbox and use this tool to test a number of things that I have asserted to them in class with regard to the contribution of temperature and potential temperature to density variability in the ocean.

Learning Goals

Concepts: Potential temperature vs. temperature. Density and static stability

MATLAB allows students to explore the data for themselves and also the experience with matlab helps as a bridge to get students to be able use matlab later in the semester to ask more open-ended questions.

Context for Use

I use this in a small upper level undergraduate and/or master's level class.
It is a lab activity.
This is the 7th of several small lab that I use to get the students up and running with Matlab so they can begin to explore oceanographic data in a more open ended way. (but many of these labs are very short, they can complete the first 3 of them in the first 3 hour lab). This come in a definite sequence that builds from an assumption of no matlab experience at the beginning of the semester).
This lab requires that they have the matlab seawater toolbox installed and that they have some basic introduction to how to use that toolbox.

Description and Teaching Materials

This lab is done entirely in MATLAB and is written to be self-explanatory assuming they have 3-4 weeks experience with matlab.
Lab Description (Lab_07_using_the_seawater_toolbox) (Acrobat (PDF) 108kB Oct12 15)
ctd_profile.mat (Matlab .MAT File 49kB Oct12 15)
Script for activity (Matlab File 2kB Oct12 15)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Assessment

I don't have a formal system.
I talk a lot with the student's during this activity and we debrief when they have completed the activity.

References and Resources

Seawater toolbox (required for this lab) is here:
http://www.cmar.csiro.au/datacentre/ext_docs/seawater.htm
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