Data Workshops – About

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is hosting several workshops for early-career scientists (PhD candidates, postdocs and pre-tenure faculty up to 7 years post-PhD) interested in learning more about the OOI and how to use data from the program in their work. The workshops focus on the development of programming, data analysis, and evaluation skills. Overviews of the marine infrastructure and software tools maintained by the OOI will also be provided.

Workshop Goals

During the workshop, participants will:

  • Learn about the overall OOI system design and the key science questions it addresses
  • Explore ways to search for and download data available from the OOI, using both web and API tools
  • Gain further experience processing and visualizing data in Python and/or Matlab
  • Practice evaluating the quality of OOI datasets
  • Have an opportunity to network with other early career scientists interested in OOI related research
  • Discuss ideas for future research projects and collaborations that utilize the resources available from the OOI program
  • Write and submit a data validation report at the end of the workshop

Workshop Format

Introductory sessions on the OOI, its science themes, and research infrastructure will be followed by a series of interactive tutorials that will introduce participants to techniques to access, process, visualize, and analyze data from the OOI Data Portal. Both Matlab and Python code examples will be provided. Participants will then form mini-research teams. Each team will select one or more OOI instruments, and will use the scripts and other tools provided to take a deep dive on the available data. At the end of the week, teams will present a data evaluation report providing an overview of their findings and identifying any quality issues or questions they found with the data. These citable reports will be made available to the community on the OOI web site.

Throughout the week, time will be available for pop-up talks and discussions, so groups can steer the agenda towards new topics that come up during these investigations. Participants will also have time to share their own tools and tips. In addition, the OOI Data Evaluation team will be available to help participants resolve instrument issues and answer questions.

These workshops will provide a space for small groups of researchers to explore data from the OOI with some new programming tools, through both formal training and informal interactions, with the ultimate goal of building up the community of researchers interested in future OOI research.

Workshop Themes

Each workshop will focus on a specific oceanographic discipline, and participants will become familiar with datasets and research opportunities available across the OOI. These discipline-based workshops are designed to inspire participants to pursue projects in geographical areas that they may not currently be focused on.

Workshop Key Topics Dates
Physics Ocean circulation, mixing, and ocean-atmosphere exchange May 21-25, 2018
Biology Ecosystem dynamics and biophysical interactions June 18-22, 2018
Geology Rock-fluid interactions and plate-scale geodynamics July 16-20, 2018
Chemistry Ocean biochemistry and the carbon cycle July 30 to August 3, 2018

Participants can select more than one workshop in their application if they are engaged in research across multiple disciplines.

A fifth workshop will focus on interdisciplinary science questions that cut across all research themes. Participants in this workshop will be selected from those who attend the prior four workshops.

Who Should Apply?

The OOI Data Exploration workshops are specifically designed to support early career scientists, (post-generals PhD students, postdocs, and pre-tenure faculty). Participants should have an interest in one or more of the following topics:

  • The goals and science objectives of the OOI program
  • The design of the OOI system, from Arrays to Sites to Nodes to Instruments
  • How to access and download data from the OOI Data Portal
  • Advancing their data processing and visualization skills using Matlab and/or Python
  • Meeting and collaborating with fellow researchers
  • Assisting the OOI in evaluating data quality and publishing a report on the OOI site for the community’s benefit

Applicants should already have some programming experience doing data analysis in a language like Python, Matlab or R. Participants should also be willing to learn how to use Python to access and work with OOI data, which will be covered in the tutorials. All participants must bring their own laptop to participate in the hands-on data activities.

Registration information

Early career scientists interested in participating in these workshops should apply using this online form. The form consists of some basic questions regarding your research background and experience, as well as a short statement of what you hope to get out of the workshop.

Workshops will be held at Rutgers University. Travel support will be provided for accepted participants.


Accepted participants will be expected to:

  • Work with Consortium for Ocean Leadership to arrange their travel
  • Participate fully in the week-long workshop, engaging in discussions and completing the data activities
  • Select a subset of OOI instruments to analyze in depth
  • Compile an evaluation report on the data quality of the selected instruments for publication on the OOI web site.

More Information and Questions

If you have questions about the workshops, please contact Max Kaplan, at