Australia has one of the largest maritime jurisdictions in the world and marine industries that are estimated to contribute ~$100 billion per annum by 2025.
Combined with the increasing availability of marine data collected by IMOS (and other marine agencies and universities) through the Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN) Portal, there is a growing need to train the next generation of marine scientists. These future marine scientists will need to be capable of understanding, using and interpreting these vast observation datasets, and thus the e-lecture series aims to ensure that new graduates have the necessary skills in current and emerging marine science fields.
“The increasing amount of ocean data being generated and openly available makes it essential to train, develop and improve the skills of our future marine scientist in using this resource to increase our knowledge and improve our understanding of our oceans” said Dr Ana Lara-Lopez, IMOS scientific officer and project leader.
“Developing a library of Massive Open Online Courses that address this need provides the opportunity not only to reach out to as many students as possible but it also allow us to exploit the cyberinfrastructure available to us” she added.
Indeed, the ability for students to be able to access and query Australian and international databases is a key skill to answer important science questions.
The new e-lecture series therefore has been designed to provide data analysis skills in a flexible learning environment.
The topic-specific lectures include; ocean primary productivity, the carbon cycle, and ocean acidification. The associated hands-on exercises using real observations will help the user gain experience on how to analyse and interpret the data.
The e-lectures were developed by IMOS in collaboration with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
The first lecture on Primary Productivity is now available through Open2U with the other lectures being released throughout the rest of this month and beginning of December.
By the end of this course students will:
- know the basics of ocean primary productivity, ocean carbon cycle, and ocean acidification,
- be able to explain which processes are involved in primary productivity, carbon cycle, ocean acidification, how it is measured and why it is important,
- learn different methods of ocean observing including in situ and remote sensing and how these observations can be used,
- gain knowledge of the advantages of open data and know where to find ocean data through the Australian Ocean Data Network or other databases and how to access these datasets, and
- gain experience on how to analyse and interpret the data with options given on coding languages to achieve this. The data laboratories are developed in Matlab and either in R or Python, or both.
The teaching staff include Associate Professor Pete Strutton from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Dr Paula Pardo from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Dr Katharina Fabricius and Dr Joy Smith both from the Australian Institute of Marine Science.