If you follow this blog and my twitter feed, you can probably guess that I have a lot of interest in the fields of data visualization, education, ocean science and web development, and especially how those worlds intersect. Each of these subjects is incredibly diverse, which makes it difficult to stay on top of new developments that are of personal interest.
In the past, one would have subscribed to several broad-ranging magazines in the hope that a few relevant articles might appear each year. But in the Internet age of blogging, micro-reporting, social networking, and web sites dedicated to every niche imaginable, the resources for personal knowledge development are immense. This is both a blessing and a curse.
To help weed through the chaff, I hope to occasionally share some of my favorite web sites and blogs – provided in easily digestible chunks for the busy educator or scientist.
This first roundup includes five of my favorite ocean and climate science related sites. Here they are in no particular order.
1) Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network Blog – CoCoRaHS is a nation-wide network of volunteer observers who measure precipitation around the country. The maps and data on their main site is awesome, but the community blog features short synopses of major precipitation events. Each post includes lots of neat maps, and is written in easily understandable language.
2) GLOBE Scientists’ Blog – The GLOBE project enables classrooms around the world to collect environmental data that is used by scientists in their research. Their Scientists’ blog highlights the cool science that students can be involved in, and often features suggested activities.
3) Marinexplore Blog – Marinexplore is a relatively new company that is trying to build a comprehensive data portal that allows users to peruse and download a large variety of ocean datasets. Their blog is primarily devoted to promoting feature updates, but occasionally it includes some neat data visualizations and stories showcasing the datasets available on the site and the kinds of research that can be accomplished with them.
4) RealClimate – RealClimate is perhaps one of the top environmental blogs on the internet (at least when considering blogs written by scientists), and is certainly one that scientists, the media and educators regularly follow for analysis on recent developments in climate science. While the site is dedicated to making climate science more accessible, many posts are arguably rather high-level. However, it’s a great place to go when you want to look beyond the headline and learn more about how data on a global scale is processed, interpolated and modeled to better understand climate processes.
5) NOAA News – The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is tasked with monitoring and forecasting weather and climate around the globe (not to mention their impacts on fisheries and humans). As a result, following their news feed is a great way to stay informed on all the cool things that NOAA does. Whether it’s the launch of a new weather satellite, a recent report on the health of fish stocks, a new system for issuing storm warnings or a recent national climate analysis, there are plenty of cool things to learn about, courtesy of your local U.S. taxpayer.