A Python tutorial

Using MODIS-Aqua satellite data and xarray

Phytoplankton are single-celled plants found in waters worldwide, from lakes to oceans and from the equator to the poles. As tiny as they are magnificent, they spend their lives floating near the surface of the water, where they bask in the sun’s rays to photosynthesize. Despite their small size, they play an enormous role in regulating the planet’s atmosphere, easily producing as much oxygen as their terrestrial counterparts and acting as a sink for carbon dioxide (CO₂), a greenhouse gas. …


And a brief description of oceanography

Portside view of NOAA Ship RAINIER at anchor. Image from NOAA.

When I tell people that I majored in oceanography, I get responses that range anywhere from “That sounds amazing, and I need to hear more!” to “I don’t know what that is, so I’ll just remember that you like ocean stuff.” These days, I tell people that I’m studying ocean data science, but not many people know what that means, so I thought I would write about it here. …


By far, the coolest job I had in college was working as a part-time data analyst with a member of the University of Washington’s eScience Institute. As an undergraduate, I majored in oceanography and my degree required me to take courses that taught me how to use Python programming to analyze environmental data. My first Python class wasn’t great, but the code appealed to me so much that I signed up for a second class, and then a third, and even decided to attend a hack week! The classes were a good start, but the data analyst position I found…


Thank you for this wonderful read, Lavanya!

Derya Gumustel

Oceanographer turned data scientist, doing my part in science communication

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