About Oceans in the News

Interpreting scientific data is one of the most challenging skills students face today. Students are overloaded with information from various media sources, and often lack both the technical skills to analyze data and the ability to recognize the overarching story the data support. This course uses polar science examples to address these technical and narrative challenges. Students will develop proficiency in data visualization and its application to the analysis of news stories about polar regions.

The material in this course was developed from an NSF grant designed to improve how students learn about and interact with polar regions. The intent was to create active-learning course materials to help students engage with polar data and researchers, and to learn more about how polar science issues affect people and animals. Including pair programming helps students build technical skills, and working together assists with learning crucial information. This site culminates from three course offerings and two workshops which refined the materials.

Team Members

Dr. Jonathan Cohen

I am an Associate Professor of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware. My teaching and research focuses on comparative physiology and behavior of marine animals, particularly marine invertebrates. I am fascinated by light as a biological factor. This has drawn me to working in polar regions, especially during the Polar Night when low light levels are still relevant for biology. Part of my motivation for developing the Oceans in the News course is to allow students to experience the polar environments I have been so fortunate to study.

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Dr. Matthew Oliver

I oversee the Ocean Exploration, Remote Sensing and Biogeography Laboratory (ORB) at the University of Delaware. I am also one of the inaugural members of the Robotic Discovery Laboratories, which opened in August 2014.

I started at the University of Delaware in January 2008 after a Post-Doc at Rutgers University. I am interested in ocean observing, ocean biogeography, polar ecosystems, coastal ecosystems, remote sensing, phytoplankton, bioluminescence and evolution. I was inspired to be a scientist at Valley Christian High School in Cerritos, CA. I started my college career at Cerritos College in Norwalk CA, and finished my B.S. and M.S. in Biology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I went on to a Ph.D. at Rutgers University in Oceanography.

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Victoria Simons

I worked with Dr. Jonathan Cohen and Dr. Matthew Oliver at the University of Delaware to help make the Oceans in the News site a reality. I received my Bachelor's in Zoology with a minor in Microbiology from The Ohio State University in 2016, and my Master's in Marine Bioscience from the University of Delaware in 2019. I am interested in marine biology, especially concerning education and outreach, marine ecology, toxicology, harmful algae, molecular genetics, and microbiology.

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