SO503 Spring 2008

Lecture Syllabus

We will use EOS as the source for many of the readings for the course, and this will be updated as the semester progresses.

1 Mon 01/07/08   Course introduction  
2 Wed 01/09/08   Visit these web sites, and come to class ready to discuss the functions of a scientific society:
  • Discuss the role of scientific professional societies in holding meetings, publishing papers, and publishing newsletters.
  • Describe the funding of scientific research with grants, and the difference between "hard" and "soft" money.
  • Understand the role of "big science" versus individual research projects.
  • Know the major funding agencies for earth sciences: NSF and ONR, and the difference between NRL and ONR.
  • 3 Mon 01/14/08   Scientific writing and presentations
  • Discuss the importance of priority in scientific research, and the role of refereed and peer reviewed journals.
  • Understand the importance of abstracts, and the need for clear, concise, and informative abstracts.
  • Describe the importance of oral and poster presentations for scientific research. 
  • 4 Wed 01/16/08   Anatomy of a Scientific Paper
    • Discuss the parts of a scientific paper
    • Discuss the citation style used in science, and the preponderance of journal articles in the references cited
    • Discuss the weaving of geology, biology, climatology, and GIS in this paper's tracing of past climates and snakehead distribution.
    • Paper analysis checklists
    5 Wed 01/23/08   Research project opportunities part 1  
      Friday 01/25/08 5th period, Ocean Math Research project opportunities part 2  
    6 Mon 01/28/08   Matlab basics  
    7 Wed 01/30/08   EOS, 22 January issue  
    8 Mon 02/04/08 Time Series
    • Understand the definition of a time series.
    • Know the use of filtering, detrending, and anomaly computation
    • Understand the use of cross correlation.
    • Interpret a correlogram, in terms of time series periodicity and what the lags mean.
    9 Wed 02/06/08   EOS, Indonesia Trench
    • Discuss the Richter scale for earthquake magnitude, and the challenges with the very infrequent large earthquakes
    • Describe the characteristics of tsunamis and challenges they present in danger managements.
    10 Mon 02/11/08 x-week Physics Today, Feb 2008
    • Journals, access and cost
    • Navy Sonars
    • Comment on the issue of scientific knowledge being locked up in commercial publications
    • Discuss the science and the policy issues involved in the Navy's use of sonars for training
    11 Wed 02/13/08 x-week Exam 1  
    12 Tues 02/19/08 Tues, Mon schedule Exam review  
    13 Wed 02/20/08 EOS Paper Sea ice extent
    • Understand the importance of the Stefan-Boltzmann law and Wien's displacement law for remote sensing.
    • Relate the trajectory of Ice Station Tara to the Fram.
    • Discuss the use of time series techniques to Arctic sea ice extent.
    14 Mon 02/25/08   Nyquist Sampling

    Time series demo

    1. Use the Nyquist frequency to develop a sampling strategy for a periodic function.

    2. Differentiate cross correlation and autocorrelation, and define lags and the correlation coefficient.

    15 Wed 02/27/08 Paper from Science Marine impacts
    1. Discuss the use of GIS to create maps showing the human disturbance of the marine environment..
    2. Discuss the marine regions that have experienced the greatest human impact.
    16 Mon 03/03/08   GIS introduction
    1. Discuss what makes a GIS (data and map coordinates), and why it is so important for the earth sciences.
    2. Discuss the importance of registration for imagery, and how it is done using world files or by KML with Google Earth.
    17 Wed 03/05/08   Searching for data (Web of Science)
    1. Discuss the use of citation databases, especially the ability to find newer sources that cite a classical old paper.
    2. Understand that spaces in file names can cause issues for some ancient legacy software.
    3. Discuss the relative speed of data access from different computer media, and how that should influence where you store data files..
    18 Mon 03/17/08 EOS paper EOS, Hydrosheds
    1. Discuss the use of the SRTM elevation data to create maps of stream networks and drainage basins, and why these are useful.
    2. Understand that shape files provide an extremely portable way to exchange GIS data, and actually require 3 different files.
    19 Wed 03/19/08   Oral presentations in science
    • Discuss the importance of substance over gimmicks in scientific Power Point presentations.
    • Discuss the importance of the slide contents to the presenter and the audience.
    • Consider the amount of text that should be on a slide, and the relative balance between text, graphics, and blank space.
    20 Mon 03/24/08   Scientific graphics
    • Understand the challenge for earth scientists to place multiple dimensions of data on a 2D display.
    • Resist the urge to use "chart junk" to make a graph more complex than needed 
    • Discuss the case study on the shuttle Challenger's O-rings, and how a lack of focus on the graphics presented contributed to the decision to launch
    21 Wed 03/26/08   Image analysis
    • Differentiate multispectral and hyperspectral imagery.
    • Discuss why we use contrast enhancement when displaying imagery.
    • Discuss the use of filtering and principal components in imagery analysis.
    • Discuss how we can
    22 Mon 03/31/08 EOS paper

    x-week--Military Aps Paper due

    Forest carbon inventory
    • Discuss the importance of the Landsat satellite for earth observation, both in terms of  its spatial resolution and duration of its record.
    • Describe the importance of tracking the carbon cycle for its impact on global climate, and the role that Landsat satellite imagery can play.
    23 Wed 04/02/08 x-week Exam 1  
    24 Mon 04/07/08 Drought in the West, Physics Today Exam review  
    25 Wed 04/09/08 Drought in the West, Physics Today River flow time analysis
    • Discuss the use of time series to trace river flow in recent decades
    • Discuss the challenges in finding more water for development, particularly in the US Southwest
    26 Mon 04/14/08 Bristlecone pines KMZ/KML files Climate time series and data visualization
    • Discuss tree ring chronologies and their use of of time series and cross correlation
    • Discuss how Google Earth can be used to help plan research, and to distribute the results.
    27 Wed 04/16/08 Venice lagoon, Quantitative Geoscience education (EOS)  
    • Discuss the challenges in finding a solution to the high water in Venice, comparing barriers to water injection
    • Discuss why geoscience faculty feel so strongly that students need strong quantitative skills
    28 Mon 04/21/08   Matlab exercise discussion
    • Discuss the advantages/disadvantages of different data formats
    • Understand the  problems that formatting issues can have with data import (commas, fancy formats for lat/long), and solutions using global search and replace
    • Know how to move data among applications (Matlab, Excel, ASCII editors) to utilize the strengths of each program
    29 Wed 04/23/08   Writing workshop
    • Review the department style manual, especially for the reference list
    30 Mon 04/28/08 Last day class Course review