Using the Project EDDIE Wind and Ocean Ecosystems module in Oceanography

Laura Reynolds, Worcester State University

About this Course


Lecture Course

Upper Level Undergraduate

students in the course


EDDIE Module(s) Adopted and/or Adapted

Wind and Ocean Ecosystems

This course was an intermediate oceanography course required within the environmental science major. I used this module in my first year teaching, which also happened to be during Covid, while teaching in a hybrid format. Since my students were mostly upper level, I adapted the module to shorten the introductory parts so that we had more time to focus on the more advanced components. I also changed the second half of the module to allow students to select and download their own data instead of using a previously downloaded dataset. The students were then able to compile their respective results and more broadly compare patterns between sites.

Jump to: Course Context | Teaching Details | How It Went | Future Use

Relationship of EDDIE Module(s) to my Course

I taught the module mid-way through the course after we covered plate tectonics, marine sediments, seawater chemistry, and atmospheric circulation. This module preceded (and led into) ocean circulation. The students were asked to complete a pre-exercise before each week (graded for completion, not accuracy), which helped them prepare for the in-class exercises.

Teaching Details

Summary of completed activity 
I taught this module over three weeks. Each week had a pre-exercise the students completed before class, a short lecture, and an exercise completed in class (and finished outside of class). The following summarizes how the original module was implemented and adapted: 
Week 1: 
Pre-Exercise A: Recorded lecture and concept sketch related to atmospheric circulations
Exercise A: EDDIE Parts A and B [modifications = simplified/shortened; data pre-sorted and partially filled out]
Week 2: 
Pre-Exercise B: EDDIE Part C [modifications = students selected and downloaded their own data instead of using provided data] 
Exercise B: EDDIE Part D [modifications = students used their own sites data and compared results to those of their classmates] **
Week 3: 
Pre-Exercise: Reading and summary of relationship between upwelling and productivity
Exercise: Non-EDDIE module activity on ENSO (returning to data downloaded in Week 2 and putting it in a broader temporal context)

**I specified certain years (La Nina years) they should target so they had a better chance of seeing a clear upwelling pattern; otherwise they chose their own datasets


Adaption Materials

Week 1. Exercise A. Atmospheric Circulation and Wind (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 711kB Jun26 21)

Week 2. Pre Exercise. Buoy Data and Upwelling (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 20kB Jun26 21)

Week 2. Exercise B. SST and Cholorphyll data in ArcGIS Online (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 7.8MB Jun26 21)

Week 3. Pre Exercise (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 18kB Jun26 21)

Week 3. Exercise. ENSO, upwelling, and productivity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 273kB Jun26 21)

Week 1. Datasheet (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 290kB Jun26 21)

How did the activity go?

The implementation went fairly well, although each component took longer than I expected—I ended up splitting up the modules over three class sections. A number of students were not comfortable with sorting, formulas, and/or plotting in excel, so I shared my screen and demonstrated these techniques for the students that needed a demo. The module worked very well in a hybrid format, which allowed students to leave class when they were comfortable with the material and complete each exercise at their own pace.

The students gained practice finding and downloading raw data, cleaning and organizing the data, and then plotting and analyzing data. In the future I would pre-record several excel tutorials for them to view on their own time instead of taking time to do that in class. In addition, several students had trouble identifying an upwelling event from the temperature data—comparing their results to those of their classmates helped them correct course, so I would spend more time having them compare pre-exercise results with one another in the future.

Future Use

This instructor story and adaption materials were developed during a Project EDDIE Faculty Mentoring Network in partnership with QUBES in the Spring of 2021.



Project EDDIE Faculty Mentoring Network logo

Yes, I would use this activity again. The manual sorting in excel was time intensive—I would be interested in running this activity in R, but only if the class was already based in R and the students were familiar with it. I think the students gained a lot from being able to use their own data and compare and contrast among their different results, although for an intro level course, pre-downloaded data would probably work better.