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The materials in this course were developed through an NSF grant designed to improve how students learn about and interact with polar regions. The intent was to create materials to help students engage with polar data and researchers and learn more about how polar science issues affect people and animals
Learn more about the Oceans in the News project »
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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.

Strengths of the Module

  • Students access and process up-to-date polar data sets to evaluate claims made in news media articles
  • Students break down news articles into story components and identify what are the heroes, villains, problems, and solutions as posed by the article's author
  • Students learn basic coding skills in the R programming environment, starting by using R as a calculator and progressing to making and manipulating their own graphs
  • Students hone their writing skills by penning responses to news articles covered in the course, supplementing their response with data they find
  • Students gain presentation and speaking practice by presenting to their peers and participating in class discussions

A great fit for courses in

  • Polar science
  • Earth science
  • Environmental science
  • Climate change
  • Programming

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