SO503 Honors Modern Methods

Spring 2004 Test 2



Definitions 2 @ 5 points 20  
Short answer 6 @ 15 points 90  
Total   80  



Definitions: answer with no more than one or two sentence.


Short Answer: The questions should be answered with a short paragraph.


Note that on both the definitions and short answer you have a choice of which questions to answer.




Definitions: Define 2 of the following 4 terms with one or two complete sentences.



Short Answer. Answer 6 of the 8 short answer questions on this and the following pages.


  1. Discuss the purpose of graphics in science.  How well does the following figure, and how would you suggest that it be improved? 


  1. You have been looking in EOS and see two jobs for which you might apply.  Translate what the two institutions are looking for into plain English, and state which job would be preferable (and why).


Job 1:   The Department of Oceanography at the Naval Postgraduate School invites applications for a tenure-track position in the area of ocean acoustics and acoustical oceanography. It is intended that appointments will be made at the assistant/associate professor level although exceptionally qualified appointments at the full professor level may be considered. A doctoral degree in Physical Oceanography, Ocean Engineering, Applied Ocean Physics or related fields is required, along with substantial evidence of potential for excellence in both teaching and research.

Consideration will be given to applicants with the ability or potential to establish a high-quality, externally funded research program that augments and enhances the existing ocean acoustic research programs of the department. Existing programs include coupled acoustic and ocean observations, data analysis, modeling and prediction. Excellent research facilities and assets are available at NPS including a local oceanographic research vessel, acoustic tomography equipment, underwater listening arrays, and hydrographic equipment. Opportunities exist and are encouraged for collaboration with other nearby oceanographic institutions.


Job 2: The UCAR Visiting Scientist Programs is recruiting a scientist for a position at the National Ice Center (NIC), located in Suitland, MD. The NIC mission is to provide near real time support to vessels operating in ice-infested waters and to synoptically monitor the ice cover of the polar seas and the Great Lakes. The NIC web page (http:\\ and http:\\ illustrates some NIC products. The objective of the program is to bridge the operational ice analysis performed at the NIC with the work performed in the ice research community.

The NIC Science Department currently works in a Linux and Windows development environment. The program offers up to a three year visiting research appointment, reviewed annually. The applicant must have a strong working knowledge of ice physics, remote sensing and/or ice modeling, and a willingness to develop, test and validate new algorithms. Preference will be given to applicants with prior data assimilation experience.


  1. Discuss whether you would prefer a satellite with 4, 7, 14, or 224 bands.  What would be the tradeoffs involved? 


  1. What can tree rings tell us about long-term climate?   Why is this important?


  1. Discuss what the photoradiometer we used recorded and why we used a reference card of  known reflectance.


  1. You found a paper from 1990 that applies to your proposed topic of research.  Can you use that paper to help find more recent, relevant papers?  How?


  1. What are the challenges in designing an instrument package on Mt. Erebus?  What other environments would have similar types of challenges?


  1. How can Spirit and Opportunity provide information about Martian geology?  What instruments supply this information?  What is our basic philosophy in tackling this exploration?