Teaching Data Literacy using the OOI Ocean Data Exploration Activity "Dynamic Air-Sea Interactions"

Wednesday 12:35 PT / 1:35 MT / 2:35 CT / 3:35 ET Online
Teaching Demonstration Part of Teaching Demonstrations


Melissa Hicks, Onondaga Community College


I will introduce the online activity with the particular dataset that I will use and, using the student worksheet, lead the participants through the Exploration section, as I would do in my classroom. The participants will be able to follow along with the assignment worksheet. Then, I will then have the participants explore the Concept Invention and Application sections for a few minutes. I will follow with an overview of both sections and answer any questions or comments.


Teaching with real data is fun and engages students more thoroughly as it really illustrates the true nature of scientific inquiry, that data is not always straight-forward, as it can be messy, but still useful. The Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI) Ocean Data Explorations provide an avenue to teach using various data collected by remote instrumentation, incorporated into meaningful datasets by professors, which have also created shareable activities that can be modified for different academic levels.

The "Dynamic Air-Sea Interaction" dataset uses atmospheric and oceanographic data to show the 2018 "Bomb Cyclone" that hit the northeastern U.S. The authors of this dataset have created a stepwise exploration of the atmospheric and oceanographic conditions observed during this event. The online graphs are interactive and allow students to zoom into certain hours of data collection, add data sets, and even create predictive rainfall curves. I will work with you through the standard activity that is used in my introductory oceanography laboratory class along with tips that will include ideas for using this activity remotely, both asynchronously and synchronously. Using this dataset, students will become more comfortable with analyzing data, recognizing patterns and trends between datasets, and developing and testing hypotheses.


I use the Dynamic Air-Sea Interactions in my introductory Oceanography laboratory course (100-level), which includes mostly non-science majors. This exploration is used after the students have worked through assignments on atmospheric cells, winds, and currents.

Why It Works

The students can interact with the data by scrolling over it to see the exact numbers and time it was collected and can zoom into the datasets. The students not only get to formulate a hypothesis based on the data and test it, but also get to predict the rainfall based on the barometric pressure data by drawing a curve on the rainfall graph. The interactive nature of the website is amazing and allows for this to be used for multiple academic levels.

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