Educational Materials

Modeling the spread of COVID-19

Modeling COVID-19 v. 1 : Learn what a SIRD model is as you model the spread of COVID-19 in Jupyter Notebook.

Modeling COVID-19 v. 2 : Compare your SIRD model to real data (in development).

PENGUIN: Polar ENgagement through GUided INquiry

In order to bring polar research and data into undergraduate curricula, we have developed Computational Guided Inquiry (CGI) modules that provide a framework for students to conduct inquiry through a Jupyter Notebook or an Excel sheet.

For educators: the materials needed to teach the modules are available at our PENGUIN site at the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) of Carleton College. You can also check out the PENGUIN modules at gitHub or try them out on Kaggle:

Processing Images of Arctic Ice
Satellites capture images of the globe continuously, providing a changing view of Earth’s surface. These images reveal land cover and allow tracking events like hurricanes and fires. This module explores image processing of satellite images in polar regions. The module starts with exploring how images are loaded, plotted, and stored; how they can be manipulated to produce true and false-color and black and white images; and color mapping. Activites also include edge detection, noise removal, determining snow and sea ice extent, and scene identification.

Ice Cores and Climate Change
As snow accumulates onto ice sheets over hundreds or thousands of years, air bubbles are trapped as the snow is compressed into firn and then ice. Ice cores serve as recorders of past climate and atmospheric concentration. In this module, work with data from ice cores from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and Greenland, in order to explore earth’s past climate and glacial cycles. Explore how temperature and CO2 vary over the last 425,000 years, and how this is linked to changes in Earth’s orbit.

Learn what permafrost is, the implications of permafrost thawing due to climate change, and how to calculate heat diffusion through permafrost. Activities include watching a video about permafrost, checking out a journal article, and downloading, plotting and analyzing permafrost data. Learn how permafrost temperature changes with depth underground, seasonally, and annually, and calculate heat flow through permafrost.

Polar Spectra
Learn about the greenhouse effect by examining a “forbidden” rovibrational band in the infrared emission spectra of Earth’s atmosphere, recorded from the surface at South Pole Station. By weighting rotational energy degeneracies with a Boltzmann factor, you can simulate the R-branch of the band – the result is a rudimentary estimate of the average temperature of the troposphere above the South Pole. Finally, try a second method of estimating the near-surface temperature, through matching South Polar radiative emission to a Planck Blackbody Spectrum.

Seasonal Arctic Ice Melt
Learn about thermodynamics topics through calculation of the amount of heat required to melt Arctic sea ice. Watch an online animation of changing polar ice with time, downloading data of Arctic ice extent and volume. Activities include using thermodynamic principles and equations to plot the phase diagram of water, find the freezing point depression of Arctic sea ice in equilibrium with sea water, and compute the change in the enthalpy of fusion of water resulting from that temperature depression.

PENGUIN for the High School

We are currently working on PENGUIN modules for the High School and community college level. Check out our progress so far at PENGUIN High.

Other Educational modules

Greybody Retrieval: A CGI module for understanding cloud property retrievals using inverse methods.