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Members of Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL) hosted a data literacy workshop in Wilmington, North Carolina on June 2-5. Led in part by Janice McDonnell and Sage Lichtenwalner, the workshop involved nearly 50 professors from across the country learning about each other’s experiences teaching at various institutions, including community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, and R1 universities. This diverse mix led to innovative ideas on engaging students with messy, raw data collected by the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The OOI is a long-term ocean measuring network, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). More than 900 instruments measure various geophysical processes throughout the ocean water column, from the air-sea exchange at the surface to the deep seafloor below. This data is used by researchers to answer bigger questions related to climate variability, ecosystem dynamics, ocean circulation, and plate-scale geodynamics. All of this data is freely available online. However, it’s 10 to 12 terabytes of high-quality data collected each month for years and years. It takes focused dedication to go through. For over a decade, McDonnell and Lichtenwalner have collaborated with various Rutgers departments and outside institutions to create new, lasting ways to easily visualize and play with big datasets. This past year, they have collaborated with faculty from Queens College, Hillsborough Community College, Stockton University, and Carleton College to relaunch one of their biggest projects, Data Labs. Data Labs is an NSF funded project aimed at higher education faculty, developing education plans that use the big data collected by the OOI in their general courses. These professors gain practice using the data visualization tools available to chunk the OOI’s raw data into workable teaching data sets. They also collaborate to create teaching plans that they can implement in their own classrooms. “I don’t remember the last time I learned so many things in such a tight time frame,” said Christa Haney of Mississippi State University. “And all of it I can apply in my teaching–I’m using it in my class right now.” Wilmington was chosen in honor of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI)’s Pioneer Array being moved toward the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Shelf for new measurements. Stace Beaulieu, an OOI specialist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Mike Muglia, from Coastal Sciences Institute, explained its significance to all that attended. The water off Cape Hatteras is actually a “confluence of many different water masses from north and south of here,” Muglia discussed. Participants were treated to two tours by local hosts, University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center of Marine Sciences and Cape Fear Community College. Local hosts at UNC Wilmington led the participants through a tour of their laboratory and pier, where researchers collect data on the intercoastal waters. Local hosts at Cape Fear Community College showcased their facilities, highlighting the much-needed technical focus of study they offer. “Our local hosts are an embodiment of the ethos of this workshop,” McDonnell explained. “It’s all about engaging educators in higher education institutions that are often overlooked at other similar workshops and conferences.” The workshop days were covered by Rutgers’ RUCOOL’s instagram, @rutgers_rucool. Future workshops are currently being planned. Original article at SEBS NJAES Newsroom

PAL PI Oscar Schofield was recently asked to provide a “senior scientist view of the world” as part of the Food for Thought series in the ICES Journal of Marine Science. In this retrospective, Oscar recounts how he ended up as an oceanographer, he shares tales of his early field experiences and the friends he made along the way, and he shares his insights on the future of ocean science and lessons learned along the way. His biggest lesson, “Don’t’ forget that science is fun!” Abstract: Over the last 30 years, ocean sciences have been undergoing a technological revolution. Changes include the transition of autonomous platforms from being interesting engineering projects to being critical tools for scientists studying a range of processes at sea. My career has benefitted immensely from these technical innovations, allowing me to be at sea (virtually) 365 days a year and operate ocean networks globally. While these technical innovations have opened many research doors, many aspects of oceanography are unchanged. In my experience, working/talking/scheming with scientists is most effective face-to-face. Despite the growing capabilities of robotic platforms, we will still need to go to sea on ships to conduct critical experiments. As the responsibilities of scientists expand with mandated outreach efforts, I strongly urge young scientists to leverage the expertise of Broader Impact professionals, who are increasingly available to our community, in order to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of our outreach efforts. Given the increasing observations of change occurring in the ocean, our work is ever-more important while still being fun. I am blessed to have had a career as an oceanographer exploring this planet. You can find Oscar’s full paper here… Schofield, O. (2024). Watching the sunrise on our ocean planet in a new era of marine science. ICES Journal of Marine Science, fsae049. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsae049

RU39 and RU40 for the Spring RMI, and RU32 for NJDEP have been recovered by Brian, Jess, and Delphine aboard SeaTow on a nice sunny day in Atlantic City!

Core

Focus Areas

The Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL) is creating knowledge of our ocean planet by pushing the limits of science and new technologies while inspiring future generations of ocean explorers.

Hurricane Science

Hurricane Science

The RUCOOL Hurricane Science Team develops and uses advanced observing technologies and models to better understand coupled ocean-atmospheric processes in tropical cyclones.

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Offshore Wind

offshore-wind

The RUCOOL Offshore Wind team develops and advances the science that informs decision-making around offshore wind, both at a state and national level.

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Polar Science / LTER

Polar Oceans

RUCOOL scientists are engaged in polar research using both regional & global climate models, via large collaborative efforts that utilize undergraduate and graduate framework.

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Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification

The RUCOOL Ocean Acidification Team develops and uses advanced observing technologies to address hypotheses related to identifying and evaluating the drivers of acidification.

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Integrated Ocean Technology

Integrated Ocean Technology

RUCOOL develops and operates state-of-the-art ocean sensor technologies, integrating their data products together to get the most comprehensive 3d view of the ocean possible.

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Empowering the next generation

Empowering the next generation

RUCOOL is innovating education practices to enable all humanity be active explorers of their ocean planet. These tools are being used to develop the next generation of ocean scientists and engineers.

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