Large Data Set Portals and Teaching Resources

Thursday 11:30am-1:30pm UMC Aspen Rooms
Poster Session

Session Chairs

Russanne Low, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
Emily Geosling, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc
Water data: access and application for place-based education
Emily Geosling, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc
Jon Pollak, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc
Diana Dalbotten, University of Minnesota-Duluth

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Hydrology is in itself a multidisciplinary field spanning an array of Earth Science and Engineering fields. Water data comes in many forms from many sources; the CUAHSI Water Data Center operates a platform which makes all time-series water data accessible in a centralized catalog used by multiple university research projects while interfacing with large data repositories from federal agencies. Using tools such as these allows teachers to create science curriculum around data that is relevant to their own locality and approach education that encourages students to investigate the water processes that most impact their own environments. By organizing sample modules and creating a manual for teaching place-based and data-driven water science education, CUAHSI is developing resources to help utilize water data resources in a way that engages teachers to provide data analysis exercises designed to support systems thinking and promote multidisciplinary education and research.
Inspiring Future Marine and Data Scientists through the Lure of Ocean Tracks
Randy Kochevar, Stanford University
Ruth Krumhansl, Education Development Center
Kira Krumhansl, Education Development Center
Josephine Louie, Education Development Center
Cheryl Peach, The Scripps Research Institute
Erin Bardar, Education Development Center
Amy Busey, Education Development Center

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The Oceans of Data Institute and Education Development Center, Inc., Stanford University, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been collaborating over the past five years on ambitious efforts via three NSF-funded projects to bring large scientific datasets into secondary and post-secondary classrooms. These efforts have culminated in the development of a student interface to marine science data called Ocean Tracks, which instantiates design principles developed based on a broad range of research findings in fields such as cognitive science, visual design, mathematics education, and learning science. The Ocean Tracks interface was tested in high school classrooms in spring and fall of 2014 with a total of 195 high school students. These tests indicated that students were able to select and display animal tracks and oceanographic data overlays with relative ease, focusing their cognitive resources on extracting meaningful information pertaining to the relationship between animal movements and the ocean environment. Teachers and students indicated that working with real data provides an inherently engaging learning environment, pointing to the tremendous potential for "big data" to transform the way science is taught. Interest among college faculty in Ocean Tracks indicated a need in undergraduate classrooms for similar tools that allow students to interact with data. So in fall of 2015 we began carrying out a needs assessment in undergraduate oceanography classes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and at Palomar College, where we will also be developing curriculum and conducting classroom tests. Preliminary results from this work will be presented.
Don't Tell Them - Show Them the Data
Hilary Peddicord, NOAA
Eric Hackathorn, NOAA

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Examining data is a fundamental practice in science. Environmental Science in particular relies on the understanding of scientific data to motivate people to lessen their contributions of human impacts on the Earth. In this session we will be demonstrating the educational use of NOAA curated datasets and data visualizations that allow teachers the ability to show not tell. Included will be the demonstration of a new interactive Earth display for a flat screen personal computer coming out of the NOAA Science On a Sphere project (SOS), SOS Explorer. This tool will provide teachers and students access to the library of SOS datasets and movies as well as from other data providers, like NOAA View. The visualizations show information provided by satellites, ground observations and computer models and rapidly animate through real-time global data. In addition, tools included in the application allow users to zoom into, probe, and graph the data, as well as add supplementary save-able material including websites, videos, pictures, and place marks. In order to make the product more accessible for teachers, lesson plans and pre-programmed tours through standards-relevant topics will be included. This session will offer a chance to test our developmental version of SOS Explorer. SOS Explorer Basic is set to release in August of 2015. The premium version will be available soon after in 2016.
NASA Wavelength: Generate Student Buzz in your Earth Science Classroom
Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
Jeannie Allen, SSAI at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Lin Chambers, NASA Langley Research Cener
Russanne Low, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
Laura Tenenbaum, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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This interactive poster presentation provides an opportunity for faculty members to learn more about NASA data resources that can be used in a variety of settings, including Earth science computer labs and team-based learning or flipped classrooms. We will provide one-on-one tours through NASA data resources as well as handouts summarizing resources well suited to undergraduate classroom use. Bring your questions from Rendezvous presentations or topics you will cover in the fall, and our team will assist you in locating resources that provide data-rich explorations of an Earth science topic of your choice. You will leave with not only a list of resources you will use in a future class, but know how to create lists that can be used as handouts for your students, using NASA Wavelength, a peer reviewed digital library of educational resources.
Preview of Educational Materials Available through UNAVCO
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
Donna Charlevoix, UNAVCO

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This presentation will provide an overview of the suite of educational resources available through UNAVCO, a non-profit University-governed consortium that facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy. Available for free online, these resources include data-rich, place-based modules for use in middle and high school and undergraduate classroom settings. These data-centric investigations naturally lend themselves to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the three dimensions of alignment. Sources for these modules include GPS data from the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory, LIght Detection And Ranging (LiDAR), and INterferometric Side Aperture Radar (InSAR). Additional supporting resources include animations, data visualization tools, tutorials, and interactive displays. Topics covered in this suite include plate tectonics, tectonic deformation, volcanic activity, hydrologic loading, and climatic impacts.
Integrating geodesy technology into undergraduate field education courses
Donna Charlevoix, UNAVCO
Bruce Douglas, Indiana University-Bloomington
Christopher Crosby, UNAVCO
Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO
Nathan Niemi, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Guoquan (Bob) Wang, University of Houston-University Park

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Fieldwork is an integral part of the geosciences and there is a longstanding tradition of teaching field methods as part of the undergraduate earth sciences curriculum. As new technology changes the ways in which we scientifically examine the Earth, and as workforce development demands evolve, there is growing interest in introducing these new technologies into field education curricula. Geodetic technologies common to modern research and industry studies include static and real time kinematic (RTK) GPS surveying; terrestrial and airborne laser scanning (TLS, ALS); satellite and terrestrial-based interfermoetric radar; and photogrammetry (e.g. Structure from Motion [SfM]). UNAVCO, the National Science Foundation's geodetic facility, has over 30 years experience providing such technologies in support of scientific advancement. Educators have also begun to introduce these technologies, and the datasets they generate, into classroom and field education settings. Over the past five years UNAVCO has been working with faculty from a variety of institutions to bring TLS and RTK GPS into field camps and seminar courses. In recent years, the demand for education and outreach support for field education has increased substantially. Teaching resources are now available online to support TLS and RTK GPS field exercises (www.unavco.org/education). UNAVCO is working with geoscience community members to procure additional funding to expand these efforts in order to meet demand for field education geodesy support. This presentation will share ongoing efforts in supporting field education and future directions of such community support.
Using Python to infuse data analysis in the curriculum
Todd Ellis, Western Michigan University

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In this talk, I will present lessons learned from a previous NSF CCLI grant to incorporate computer data analysis in the meteorology curriculum, and demonstrate the power of Python to expand on those findings in order to infuse data analysis throughout an earth science curriculum. Python is one of the most preferred languages for introducing algorithmic thinking to students and is freely available on many platforms with very powerful numerical computing modules and plotting options. Use of iPython workbooks enables instructors to build in descriptive elements to help students explore data, learn professionally appropriate data analysis techniques, and learn content by constructing the knowledge themselves through open-ended scientific practices.
Modernizing your introductory seismology content with new data-rich classroom modules
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Michael Hubenthal, IRIS Consortium
Margaret Benoit, The College of New Jersey

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Introductory Earth science classes can become more interactive through the use of a range of seismic data and models, which students can also use to conduct simple research regarding earthquakes and earth structure. One way to introduce students to these data sets is via a new set of six intro-level classroom activities designed to introduce undergraduates to some of the grand challenges in modern seismological research. The activities all use real data sets and some require students to collect their own data, either using physical models or via Web sites and Web applications. While the activities are designed to step students through a learning sequence, several of the activities are open-ended and can be expanded to research topics. For example, collecting and analyzing data from a deceptively simple physical model of earthquake behavior can lead students to query a map-based seismicity catalog via the IRIS Earthquake Browser to study seismicity rates and the distribution of earthquake magnitudes, and make predictions about the earthquake hazards in regions of their choosing. In another activity, students can pose their own questions and reach conclusions regarding the correlation between hydraulic fracturing, waste-water disposal, and earthquakes. Other data sources are also available for students to engage in self-directed research projects. For students with an interest in instrumentation, they can conduct research relating to instrument calibration and sensitivity using a simple educational seismometer. More advanced students can explore tomographic models of seismic velocity structure, and examine research questions related to earth structure, such as the correlation of topography to crustal thickness, and the fate of subducted slabs. For all of these topics and data sets, the societal impact of earthquakes can provide an additional motivation for students to engage in their research.
A Manual for Place-Based, Data-Driven Teaching
Diana Dalbotten, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Emily Geosling, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc
Jon Pollak, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc

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Place-based education methodologies are increasingly being used for Earth-systems education as a way to increase student interest and excitement for learning in the geosciences. However, many of these activities are field-based, or rely field trips to local sites and connections to local culture. At the same time, research on Earth-systems is being transformed by the availability of large data sets which are made possible by increases in remote sensing and satellite technology. CUAHSI has developed a handbook for place-based, data-driven education which will support learning in the undergraduate classroom using data sets searchable through CUAHSI's Hydro Desktop. Sample activities will present the material in both inquiry-based activities and more structured problem-based activities. In the process, students learn about metadata and explore issues related to data sources, structure, and validity. Researchers who are members of the CUAHSI community will be supported to submit additional activities. The goal of the manual is to support undergraduate students in acquiring competency with using large data sets to support research on Earth systems.
Enhancing Geoscience Education with the GeoMapApp Data Exploration Tool
Andrew Goodwillie, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

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When performing data-related activities, students show better engagement and increased understanding when they gain a sense of ownership of the data. GeoMapApp (http://www.geomapapp.org) – a free, map-based data discovery and visualisation tool developed at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory – provides students and researchers alike with access to hundreds of built-in research-grade geoscience data sets covering geology, geophysics, geochemistry, cryospherics, and the environment. Users can also import their own data tables, spreadsheets, shapefiles, grids, and images. Simple manipulation and analysis tools combined with layering capabilities and engaging visualisations provide a powerful platform with which to explore and interrogate geoscience data in its proper geospatial context. A new Save Session function allows educators to preserve a pre-loaded state of GeoMapApp. When shared with a class, the saved file allows every student to open GeoMapApp at exactly the same starting point from which to begin their data explorations. A range of GeoMapApp learning modules aimed at school- and college-level students is already available. For example, in one module, students analyse seafloor crustal age data to calculate spreading rates in different ocean basins. A multi-resolution land-ocean global elevation base map forms the backbone of GeoMapApp and includes Space Shuttle elevation data and ultra-high-resolution surveys of coral reefs and seafloor hydrothermal vent fields. Examples of built-in data sets that can be layered over the elevation model include interactive earthquake and volcano data, plate tectonic velocities, geological maps, and deep submersible bottom photos. A versatile profiling tool provides instant access to data cross-sections. Contouring and 3-D views are also offered. Tabular data – both imported and built-in – can be displayed in a variety of ways and a lasso tool enables users to quickly select data points directly from the map. For assignment reports, various export options allow students to include data-based evidence to support their conclusions.