Explore CTD data of vertical structure of ocean

Alexander Stine
San Francisco State University,
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Students use MATLAB to explore CTD data of vertical structure of ocean.

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Learning Goals

My goals for this activity are:
1. for students to understand what the vertical structure in the ocean looks like
2. to get students asking questions about stability before we dive into this subject in more depth in lecture, and
3. to build familiarity/comfort with MATLAB to setup more involved MATLAB activities later in the semester.

Context for Use

I use this activity in an upper level undergraduate and/or master's level course. When I give them this activity, students have already done 2-3 short labs which give them an introduction to MATLAB, but do not necessarily have other programing experience. This activity is done during lab time early in the semester of a physical oceanography class.

Description and Teaching Materials

Getting Started Script (Matlab File 4kB Oct12 15)
coastline file (Matlab .MAT File 62kB Oct12 15)
ctd_profile.mat (Matlab .MAT File 49kB Oct12 15)

Teaching Notes and Tips


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