Harvesting A Sea of Data

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This article provides a close-up look at EDC's and Stanford University's innnovative Ocean Tracks program. Ocean Tracks is a Web interface that provides students with free access to authentic data collected from migrating elephant seals, white sharks, albatross, tuna, drifting buoys, and satellites, as well as customized analysis tools modeled after those used by scientists. The authors describe how Ocean Tracks functions, allowing teachers and students to use large, professionally collected data sets to investigate scientific questions of current, real-world importance, such as: "What do marine animals’ movements tell us about areas of the ocean that are critical in supporting biodiversity?" and "In what ways are human activities affecting these areas?" One of the authors is a teacher, who shares her experience using Ocean Tracks in her classroom: "My students were hooked! They had questions and access to a wealth of scientifically collected data and were ready to try to find answers.”



Amy Busey, Ruth Krumhansl, Julianne Mueller-Northcott, Josephine Louie, Randy Kochevar, Kira Krumhansl, Virgil Zetterlind

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7 pp.
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