SO503 Spring 2010

Lecture Syllabus

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

Tues 1/12 Course Introduction
Wed 1/13 Scientific programming (read Lab 1 advance sheet)
Wed 1/20 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.
  • Mon 1/25 Programming in Matlab.  Look at:
    • Understand how to use m-files in Matlab
    • Compare programming in Excel and Matlab
    • Manipulate ASCII data files
    Wed 1/27 Faculty Research Presentations
    • Beattie
    • Guth
    • Petruncio
    • Woods
    Thur 1/28 Faculty Research Presentations (half of lab period)
    • Barrett
    • Schulz
    • Smith
    • Steppe

    During SO513

    • Lee
    Mon 2/1 Science funding and research
    Wed 2/3 Bring the 19 Jan EOS to class
    • Sanabia
    • Hager
    Mon 2/8 Snow day 1  
    Wed 2/10 Snow day 2
    Wed 2/17 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
    Mon 2/22 EOS, 16 Feb, Forecasting Hurricane Impact
    • Discuss the use of aerial imagery and LIDAR to measure hurricane impacts
    Wed 2/24 Matlab tricks and techniques Use loops to find average, compute maximum and where it occurs
    Mon 3/1 LIDAR, DEMs, and GIS part 1
    1. Discuss the characteristics and uses of LIDAR topography.
    2. Discuss why we want a variety of digital elevation models (DEMs) at different scales or resolutions.
    3. Discuss what makes a GIS (data and map coordinates), and why it is so important for the earth sciences.
    4. Discuss the importance of registration for imagery, and how it is done using world files or by KML with Google Earth.
    Wed 3/3 LIDAR, DEMs, and GIS part 2
    Mon 3/8 GIS Mapping
    1. Discuss what makes a GIS (data and map coordinates), and why it is so important for the earth sciences.
    2. Discuss the characteristics of a database
    3. Discuss the importance of registration for imagery, and how it is done using world files or by KML with Google Earth.
    Wed 3/10 GIS Mapping
    Mon 3/22 EOS 9 March  (cyclone energy coupling in Gulf of Mexico and eastern Pacific)
    • Discuss the patterns in ACE over the past 50 years
    Wed 3/24 EOS 23 March (Agulhas Current, Dead Sea Gravity)
    • Discuss the importance of the Agulhas Current for global oceanic circulation
    • Discuss why earth scientists look at gravity variations
    • Describe why surveys concentrate on intersection errors ("crossovers")
    Mon 3/29 Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
    • Discuss the types of resolution with satellite imagery, and the tradeoffs required to get an acceptable S/N ratio with the sensors.
    • 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 classify satellite imagery
    Wed 3/31 Fundamentals of Remote Sensing II
    Mon 4/5 x-week Exam 2
    Wed 4/7 Exam review
    Mon 4/12 Paper topic sentence due 

    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
    Wed 4/14 Scientific presentations
    • 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.
    Mon 4/19 Paper reference list due (correctly formatted)

    Reading complex data files

    Wed 4/21 Reading complex data files
    Mon 4/26 Current EOS
    Wed 4/28 Library research
    Mon 5/3 Current EOS
    • Discuss the rules for naming species, and the important of publication in "peer-reviewed" publications
    Wed 5/5 Paper due
    • Interpret T-S diagrams
    • Differentiate sigma-tee and sigma-theta