Initial Publication Date: May 20, 2016

More Resources for Teaching Ocean Science

An abundance of online resources mean that you no longer need to live in a seaside community to help your students get a feel for what it means to explore the ocean. Given the critical role that oceans play in the climate system through their effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide and influence on weather patterns, as well as their importance to the global food supply and the more regional influences they have on coastal cities, ocean science could be integrated into many courses in a variety of disciplines. Use the resources below as a starting point for finding ideas to inspire your students to explore the relevance of ocean science to their lives.

  • Teaching Oceanography, the Cutting Edge topical resources collection (, contains examples of course syllabi, teaching activities, datasets and visualizations compiled by participants in Cutting Edge workshop. Many of these resources are ready to use, with little preparation required.
  • Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future (InTeGrate) ( This is a large collection of classroom-tested resources for teaching about the Earth from an interdisciplinary perspective. There are a couple of modules and a few activities that focus specifically on ocean phenomena, including activities focused on understanding ocean acidification, hurricanes, the role of the ocean in climate variability, and information about sea level rise.
  • GEODE: Exploring Marine Sediments using Google Earth ( Give your students hands-on experience with marine sediment data using Google Earth in this set of exercises that come with everything you need, including tips for successful implementation.
  • Earth Rocks! Oceanography-Specific Video Series ( If you find yourself wanting to utilize a "flipped-classroom" format or would like to incorporate videos in your teaching, Katryn Wiese at City College of San Francisco has produced a series of video explorations spanning a range of Earth science topics — many of them have a focus on ocean science.

In addition to the real-time data resources mentioned in the lead article of this issue by Meghan Marrero and Karen Woodruff, the following resources may be helpful:

  • The Ocean Data Center at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ( is a good starting point for real-time data, such as sea surface temperature, regional ocean climatology, salinity, dissolved oxygen and sea-level rise data.
  • NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory offers an El Niño Theme Page for quick and easy access to real-time data from the tropical Pacific (
  • NASA's OceanColor Web ( includes a database of remotely-sensed ocean data with an online data browser that offers an opportunity to examine sea-surface temperature and chlorophyll back to 2002.