Tutorials, Workshops, and Demonstrations

Attendees experience the most in-depth learning opportunity at OCEANS by participating in one or more interactive tutorials, workshops, and technical demonstrations on Thursday, October 31.

Thursday AM

Presenter: Valentina Staneva

4 hrs of CEU credits optional

Participants must bring their own laptop for the hands-on sessions, with the Python program installed.

This is a short crash course on the fundamentals of data science for oceanography research. We will go on a tour through concepts and tools established in the data science community which can facilitate discoveries from large and complex oceanographic data sets. Participants are expected to have basic knowledge of Python (equivalent to the Software Carpentry Lesson https://swcarpentry.github.io/python-novice-gapminder/ ). The main concepts are language independent but we will use Python tools to demonstrate them. We encourage participants who are experienced with other programming languages to review the Software Carpentry Lesson in advance. Also some familiarity with the bash shell may be helpful. We will use publicly available oceanographic datasets, we will share all the tutorial materials, and participants must bring their own laptop with Python installed.

Topics Covered:

Getting Started With Temporal And Spatial Oceanographic Data Sets

Wrangling Large Data From The Comfort of Your Laptop

From Data to Insights: Visualizations, Dimensionality Reduction, Prediction

Tools for Reproducible Research: Project Organization, Package Management, Software Best

Practices, Data Sharing Platforms

Dr. Staneva is a data scientist at the eScience Institute at the University of Washington. Previously, she was a PhD student at the Applied Mathematics & Statistics Department at Johns Hopkins University. Her research was with the Center for Imaging Science and was devoted to developing methods for tracking deforming objects in videos and statistical estimation of their dynamics. Valentina has a B.S. in Mathematics from Concord University, and between her undergraduate and graduate studies she worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory on problems in imaging, optimization and compressed sensing. She has broad interests in extracting information from different types of data, and building tools for it.

Session Length: 1/2 Day

Presenters: Veronica Lance, Paul DiGiacomo, and Michael Soracco

4 hrs of CEU credits optional

Participants must bring their own laptop for the hands-on sessions.

In the value chain of progressing from data to information to applications and knowledge, observations of surface ocean and coastal water properties by satellite remote sensing are significant components for many operational applications, modeling and data assimilation activities, and scientific investigations that assess, monitor and predict the physical, biological, and biogeochemical states of the marine environment. For the open ocean, many key environmental parameters are determined on a routine and sustained basis from well-validated algorithms including sea surface temperature, sea surface height, ocean color, sea ice, ocean winds, and roughness of the ocean surface (e.g., oil spills), providing frequent and synoptic coverage. Retrievals in coastal, near-shore and inland waters continue to be an area of active research and development, but many products are fit for purpose and ready for use in observation-based marine applications. Gaining access to and utilizing these satellite data and data products can be daunting to the non-specialist, however. This tutorial will i) review current status and availability of mature, operational satellite observations for the ocean and coasts; ii) provide information on emerging satellite-derived products; iii) illustrate use of these data through representative case studies; and iv) highlight methods for the discovery and acquisition of satellite data, including a demonstration of the NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch data portal and a group discussion on solutions to the barriers (real or perceived) that constrain more routine utilization of satellite observations. Time will be allocated for participants to explore data portals and interact with the tutorial team to request guidance, suggest downstream data products and/or give feedback.

This tutorial is primarily aimed toward decision-makers, managers, engineers and researchers (public, private, commercial) who would like to consider incorporating ocean and coastal satellite observations into their applications and services but who need to learn the basics or get beyond obstacles they may have encountered. No prior knowledge of satellite oceanography is required. Participants must bring their own laptops for demos and hands-on exercises.

Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to satellite data products
  • Transforming operational satellite data to knowledge
  • Application examples and fitness for purpose of ocean and other water bodies satellite observations
  • Data discovery for NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch and tools to work with satellite data
  • Hand-on practice and guidance for individual projects

Dr. Paul DiGiacomo is Chief of the Satellite Oceanography and Climatology Division in the Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR), National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Program Manager for the NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch Program. Paul trained as an oceanographer with a PhD from UCLA and worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab prior to arriving at NOAA. His current research interests include uses of satellite data to inform water quality and he champions the cause for redefining “operational” for the use of satellite ocean data.

Dr. Veronica Lance is Program Scientist for the NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch Program and is trained as a biological oceanographer with a PhD from Duke University. Veronica’s research interests include the use of ocean satellite data to study phytoplankton and primary productivity. She serves as the conduit between the upstream satellite specialists and downstream users.

Michael Soracco is the HelpDesk Coordinator for NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch. He specializes in user access by developing and maintaining data products, the data portal (and website) and runs the helpdesk. Michael studied aerospace engineering for his B.AE at Georgia Institute of Technology and earned his Master’s degree in Business at Central Michigan University. He served as a commissioned officer in the NOAA Corps servicing equatorial moored buoys, conducting coastal hydrographic surveys, and as an ocean remote sensing operations officer. He has developed and taught the NOAA GIS course and is a fundamental source of the CoastWatch program’s “corporate memory.”

Session Length: 1/2 Day

Presenter: Monika Aggarwal

4 hrs of CEU credits optional

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptop for this session.

Direction of arrival (DOA) estimation and localization of the radiating sources using an array of sensors play a very important role in many different areas such as radar, sonar, seismology, mobile communication, medical diagnostics etc. In underwater scenarios, it is required for monitoring of underwater systems, undersea discoveries, catastrophic prevention, environmental monitoring and at many other places.

Because of the vast application domain, many researchers are contributing a lot in this area. With time the algorithms have become robust, efficient, simple and stable. Even the underlying technologies, array structures have seen a sea change. Traditional pressure sensor arrays are now being replaced by vector sensors. Sinusoidal complex signal model are being generalized to quaternion model.

In this tutorial, we will go for the complete journey of evolution of these algorithms and technologies and understand recent advancements in details. We will understand the traditional algorithms, their limitations and the solution which leads to modified solutions. We will also talk about the open challenges and areas of future research.

Topics Covered

DOA estimation Techniques

  • Subspace based high resolution techniques and its variants
  • Maximum Likelihood Techniques
  • Methods to handle wideband, spread sources
  • Methods to handle colored noise, correlated sources
  • Beam Space processing
  • Higher Order statistics based DOA estimation algorithms

Beamforming

  • Delay and sum Beamformer
  • Capon
  • SNR maximizer
  • MVDR

Source Localization

  • Triangulation
  • Correlation and p-hat transforms
  • Localization of underwater targets
    • Match Field Processing

Vector Sensor Based Array Processing

  • Modeling
  • Single vector sensor based DOA, beamforming
  • Vector sensor Array

Underdetermined Systems

  • Concept of virtual arrays
  • Different array structures: Nested arrays, co-Prime arrays and their variants

Miscellaneous

  • Advance topics
  • Open research problem and future directions

Dr. Monika Aggarwal is a Professor at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India and has more than 20 years of teaching experience. She has given many tutorials in India and internationally. Details can be found at: (http://care.iitd.ac.in/People/Faculty/M_Aggarwal.html)

Session Length: 1/2 Day

Presenter: Greg Ikeda

This technical demonstration focuses on building skills in the theory, operation, and maintenance of Sea-Bird Scientific’s high-resolution pH sensors that use ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET) technology. Keep up to date on the latest changes in ocean pH measurement technology by attending this 2-hr technical training (8 – 10am) on ISFET pH sensors.

Topic Overview:

  • Overview of ISFET pH sensors with laboratory and field results
  • When/where to use ISFET pH sensors
  • How to operate the SeaFET V2, SeapHOx V2, and Deep SeapHOx V2
  • How to verify sensor data
  • Pre-deployment preparations
  • Deployment/recovery methods and best-practices with a “mock deployment”
  • How to clean sensors
  • How to store sensors
  • What NOT to do with ISFET pH sensors
  • Data upload and processing
  • Q&A

For background information, links to videos and literature below:

Greg Ikeda received his B.S. in Oceanography from the University of Washington. During this time he logged over 150 days at sea on various research vessels. He joined Sea-Bird Scientific in 2014 as a Technical Support Technician, supporting technical and scientific questions from customers as well as running field experiments for Sea-Bird Scientific. His role as Content Development Manager leverages his technical and scientific background to create new material ranging from instrument manuals to case studies and whitepapers. He often ventures out as one of Sea-Bird’s field scientists to test instruments, conduct experiments, and generate data for future technical content.

Session Length: 2 hours

Presenters: Evan Cervelli and Judah Goldberg

The technical demonstration focuses on building familiarity and skills with Rockland Scientific’s coastal-zone profiler for the measurement of micro-scale turbulence. This profiling technique is in contrast to traditional stationary microstructure and CTD profiling – by using a modified reel system for “tow-yo” profiling while the vessel is underway, the user is able to not only capture the typical high-frequency microstructure measurements (up to 512 Hz), but also do so repeatedly across a transect, thereby increasing the coupling of spatial and temporal events across the mixed layer in the region of study. This is an extremely useful technique for coastal researchers, monitoring agencies, and consulting firms.

Topic Overview:

Part 1 (10am – 12pm):

  • Introduction to the VMP-250 Coastal Microstructure Profiler with integrated CT sensor
  • Overview of tow-yo hardware with presentation, video, and hands-on demonstration of VMP tow-yo technique and use cases

Evan Cervelli, B.Sc. – Field Service Technician, Rockland Scientific. Evan provides technical support to Rockland’s customers and helps build customer capacity through training and field services. Evan is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, N.S.) and holds a B.Sc. Honours Environmental Science and Minor in Chinese Studies. He has completed the Ocean Technology Advanced Diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College, and has extensive experience with small vessel operations through work with the Canadian Coast Guard Inshore Rescue and as a Lead Instructor with the Nova Scotia Sea School.

Judah Goldberg, M.Sc. – Sales Manager North America, Rockland Scientific. Judah provides almost 20 years of oceanographic experience to the Rockland team. He earned his Bachelors degree in Marine Biology from the University of Santa Cruz, and his Masters in Marine Sciences from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California. His diverse background in biological and physical oceanographic research – from phytotoxin analysis to coastal mooring deployments – enables him to be a trusted advisor to customers. For over the last decade Judah has guided customers with proven technical sales expertise and built lasting relationships throughout the research community and marine technology industry.

Presenter: Eric Hawes

With the continual increase in demand on performance, length of deployments, pressure cycles and trends toward greater subsea residency for operational efficiencies, connector identification and proper connector selection is becoming more complex and challenging than ever before. Numerous current events and disasters place blame on faulty cables and connectors. Many of these instances, failure in the selection of the connector for the application is the root cause, rather than simply the failure of the connector. Connector selection and matching performance expectations to requirements is mission critical. This workshop focuses on the responsibility and process-controlled methods for optimal connector selection.

This workshop will explore the selection process and variables associated with connector performance, construction, installation, internal interfaces and cost tradeoffs. Connector selection starts with reviewing its function or deployment/design requirements that consist of mating type, depth rating, signal or power carried and distance traveled. These requirements will drive mechanical and electrical/optical performances needed. The connector material selection will need to be managed by its strength as well as the chemical interaction with surrounding materials, mounting configuration and sea water as the electrolyte per the galvanic chart. Connector contact packages are selected based on electrical and optical performance requirements. Managing data types, rates and distances will affect the connector selection as well. Once the connector securely transfers the signal or energy into the container, there are considerations to best manage the internal routing with wires, flex circuits and PCB’s. All the associated input variables coupled with deployment and maintenance requirements affect connector cost.

Topics Covered:

  • Design Requirements by Interface Scenario – dry, wet, and splash mate
    • Signal/power, distance, pressure barriers, and governing body specifications
  • Mechanical Performance
    • Material strength, galvanic scale, dissimilar metals and cathodic delamination, and connector isolation
  • Electrical Performance and Data Requirements
    • Voltage, Current, Power, Ethernet, USB, Coax
  • Optical Performance
    • Single mode or Multi mode, Loss Budget
  • Internal Interfaces
    • Bulkhead feed-thru, Pigtail Wires, PCB Interface, Flex Circuit
  • Cost Tradeoffs
    • Number of seals, Number of Mate/De-Mate Cycles, Cost of Failure/Replacement, Maintenance and Serviceability

Eric Hawes is an engineering professional with 20 years of experience ranging from concept design to production of electromechanical devices across various subsea industries.  Currently, he is a Senior Technical Staff at Glenair working to expand their subsea connector product portfolio and increasing their ability to manufacture and test high pressure connector and cabling systems. As a conscientious, detail-oriented leader and “hands-on” engineer, he has managed teams as well as personally contributed to the design, manufacture and testing of many subsea platforms at the system and sensor level, ranging from acoustic doppler current profilers to autonomous floats and vehicles. Mr. Hawes holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Montana State University. He resides in San Diego, California with his family and enjoys recreational diving, surfing and tinkering in his garage.

Thursday PM

Presenters: Niaz Ahmed and Yahong Rosa Zheng

4 hrs of CEU credits optional

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptop for this session.

During recent years, Magneto-Inductive (MI) communication has been actively studied for underwater wireless communications, thanks to its applications in sensor network and internet of underwater things. In comparison to acoustic and optical communication means, due to the same penetration of MI in water and air because of the similar magnetic permeability of both mediums. Magneto-Inductive (MI) systems are best suited for underwater wireless sensor networks applications with short range, high-data-rate and low power consumption. MI communication has the unique advantage of being small form factor, low cost, low power, low propagation delay, no multipath, and operational in air, underwater, and underground.

Therefore, MI communication can play an important role in applications that involve complex environments, such as rivers, lakes, wetlands, farm field, and caves.

The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce the basics and potential applications of Magneto Inductive communication. Some hands-on experience will be provided. No prior knowledge of the topic is required to attend. Basic knowledge of electrical engineering is a plus.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to Magneto-Inductive Communication and Transformer Theory
    • MI communication performance
  • Hardware Implementation of Sensor Nodes with MI Communication
    • 3D MI coils, sensors, and micro-controller
    • software programming of micro-controller
  • Hardware Demo and Hands-on experiments

Dr. Ahmed received a B.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from NUCES-FAST University, Lahore, Pakistan, an M.S. degree in Computer Engineering from CASE University, Islamabad, Pakistan, and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, USA. He is currently an Associate Professor in Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China. His research interests include Magneto Inductive Wireless Communication, Underwater Wireless Sensor Network, and Embedded Systems.

Dr. Zheng received a B.S. degree from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China, an M.S. degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, both in electrical engineering. She received a Ph.D. degree from the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Previously, she was a full professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. She joined Lehigh University in Aug. 2018 as a professor in the ECE department. Her research interests include underwater cyber-physical systems, real-time embedded systems and signal processing, wireless communications, and wireless sensor networks. She has been a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Vehicular Technology society since 2015, giving more than 20 invited lectures in recent years.

Session Length: 1/2 Day

Presenter: Suleman Mazhar

4 hrs of CEU credits optional

Participants must bring their own laptop for the hands-on session, with Python and/or MATLAB programs installed.

Deep Learning is an important and emerging field that is getting attention from all application domains. Current interest in deep learning can be considered a second era renaissance of neural networks. Until the late 90s, researchers were trying to identify reliable methods to train very deep and better neural networks. With the development of simple yet important theoretical and algorithmic developments, advances in hardware (GPUs), and advent of Big Data, Deep Learning fills the gap required for this transformation in machine learning.

Purpose of this short course is to introduce Deep Learning and its different architectures so that participants can have an idea about how to utilize different deep learning architectures in Ocean applications. The tutorial will start from neural networks and will provide hands-on exercises with commonly known deep learning architectures using a high-level deep learning tool (Keras). The intent is to familiarize the interested participants in nuances of different deep architectures.

Examples of applications from image processing and acoustics domain will be provided.

This tutorial is for the students, researchers and engineers working in the industry related to ocean and environmental engineering who are interested in using and/or exploring deep learning and neural networks for their work. A basic understanding of college-level material in calculus and linear algebra is strongly recommended. Participants are required to bring their own laptop, and MATLAB and Python scripts will be provided for the hands-on session.

Topics Covered

  • Neural Nets & Back-propagation
  • Deep Learning: Introduction
  • Deep Learning: Tactics & Types
  • Activation functions (ReLU)
  • Drop-out
  • Types of Deep-Nets (CNN, LSTM)
  • Deep Architectures in depth
  • Auto-encoders
  • LSTM
  • Applications Demo & QA

Dr. Mazhar did his PhD from Tokyo University and postdoctorate from Georgetown University.

He has a vast portfolio of research projects as principle investigator of BiSMiL Lab (Laboratory for Bio-inspired Simulation & Modeling of intelligent Life). He is IEEE senior member, member of Acoustical Society of America and World Commission on Protected Area (International Union for Conservation). His research work focuses on study and monitoring of endangered Indus river dolphin and marine mammals.

Session Length: 1/2 Day

Presenters: Evan Cervelli and Judah Goldberg

The technical demonstration focuses on building familiarity and skills with Rockland Scientific’s coastal-zone profiler for the measurement of micro-scale turbulence. This profiling technique is in contrast to traditional stationary microstructure and CTD profiling – by using a modified reel system for “tow-yo” profiling while the vessel is underway, the user is able to not only capture the typical high-frequency microstructure measurements (up to 512 Hz), but also do so repeatedly across a transect, thereby increasing the coupling of spatial and temporal events across the mixed layer in the region of study. This is an extremely useful technique for coastal researchers, monitoring agencies, and consulting firms.

Topic Overview:

Part 2 (1 – 3pm):

  • Data processing
  • General system maintenance
  • Probe maintenance and functionality test example

Evan Cervelli, B.Sc. – Field Service Technician, Rockland Scientific. Evan provides technical support to Rockland’s customers and helps build customer capacity through training and field services. Evan is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, N.S.) and holds a B.Sc. Honours Environmental Science and Minor in Chinese Studies. He has completed the Ocean Technology Advanced Diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College, and has extensive experience with small vessel operations through work with the Canadian Coast Guard Inshore Rescue and as a Lead Instructor with the Nova Scotia Sea School.

Judah Goldberg, M.Sc. – Sales Manager North America, Rockland Scientific. Judah provides almost 20 years of oceanographic experience to the Rockland team. He earned his Bachelors degree in Marine Biology from the University of Santa Cruz, and his Masters in Marine Sciences from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California. His diverse background in biological and physical oceanographic research – from phytotoxin analysis to coastal mooring deployments – enables him to be a trusted advisor to customers. For over the last decade Judah has guided customers with proven technical sales expertise and built lasting relationships throughout the research community and marine technology industry.

Session Length: 1/2 Day

Presenters: Katharine Weathers, Andrew Allegra, and Anna Milan

Participants must bring their own laptop for the hands-on session.

Institutions, funding agencies, and publishers are increasingly requiring data management, data management plans, and standards compliant metadata. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) can help with both end-to-end data management planning and metadata creation. The newly formed NCEI merges the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), with the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC).

The end-to-end data management portion of the workshop will focus on the process of how to work with your data and customers in data management planning, including costs, formal plans, data sharing, and presentation.

Metadata is standardized data documentation that enhances the usability, access, and understanding of datasets. The specific metadata standard will vary according to the repository selected for data archive. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) uses the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard known as ISO 19115-2: Geographic Information — Metadata — Part 2: Extensions for Imagery and Gridded Data for metadata. NCEI has developed free tools to help create metadata that conforms to this standard. These tools will be touched on in the presentation. After the overview presentation of exactly what metadata is, participants can create their own metadata with trained specialists.

This workshop will help anyone who produces data they need to manage for re-use. Beginner to intermediate level of knowledge on data management and metadata creation will be the focus, but all levels are welcome. Participants should have a laptop and a dataset from which they wish to create metadata. A sample dataset for practice will be available for those without the latter.

If time allows, we will introduce strategic engagement efforts underway at NCEI. Data provided to NCEI can be integrated by other scientists into new products.  Users of these data and products can initiate dialogue – questions, data requests, and user feedback and we can capture those in a new customer relationship management tool utilized by NCEI.

Katharine Weathers currently works as a scientist and data manager for Mississippi State University’s Northern Gulf Institute, a cooperative institute of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. She prepares data packages for long-term archival preservation as well as data integration into publicly accessible products like the World Ocean Atlas. Her research background includes bio-physical interactions within the Gulf of Mexico. She received her M.S. in Physical Oceanography from the University of Southern Mississippi and a B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami. Katharine enjoys the outdoors and traveling, and lives in Coastal Mississippi.

Andrew Allegra has experience implementing Customer Service procedures and systems in a scientific setting. He is currently the NCEI-CCOG Scientific Engagement Team Leader and is involved in strategic planning with a visionary focus toward customer services, user engagement, and use-inspired product development. As an ocean information specialist, he has been responsible for customer services, communications, outreach, press releases, social media, and web content management at NOAA’s NCEI.  Andrew received his B.S. Biology and his M.S. Biological Oceanography at Old Dominion University. Andrew has experience working in various roles and details over the years, including integrated teams across NOAA line offices and policy work at the department level.  He is also COR Level 1 certified and is a Govt Task Monitor for contracts. Andrew enjoys hiking and diving, and lives in Northern Virginia.

Anna Milan is the Metadata Standards Lead at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. She has 15 years of experience creating and advising on national and international metadata standards for earth science data and is an expert in the ISO 19115 suite of standards. She is passionate about working with scientists, data managers and software developers to employ these standards in meaningful ways that facilitate discovery, understanding and long-term archive of NOAA’s rich and diverse data that spans from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from the University of Colorado and used to be a Montessori Preschool teacher.

Session Length: 1/2 Day