Bringing Arctic Data into Undergraduate Classrooms

The guest blogger for today is Arctic Data Center Data Science Fellow, Sarah Erickson. Her project is all about bringing the Arctic to life in undergraduate classrooms all over the world using Arctic data.


We stand on the shoulders of giants and below us is a giant mountain of information. 

The Arctic Data Center is rich with these data. With over fifty-eight hundred datasets submitted by researchers, students, and technicians, there is an unprecedented opportunity for students to dive into real-world questions about one of the planet’s fastest-changing ecosystems. Not only do we store and manage these data, but we also work to ensure the data submitted are reproducible and ready for reuse.

With data science being one of the fastest-growing fields in the 21st century, it is essential that the next generation of students are familiar with how to tidy, wrangle, and interpret data. While most universities may have data science courses available for undergraduate students, many are not likely to feature datasets from remote locations like the Arctic. Integrating datasets like those in our catalog is a fantastic opportunity to virtually bring this unique ecosystem to life while learning the principles of data management. 

Because datasets from our repository range widely from oceanography to political science, they are applicable to a range of courses, and we are currently developing a list of example Arctic datasets for educators to use in conjunction with their own instructional materials. Not only will this list highlight the many cross-cutting disciplines working in the Arctic, this thematically varied list of datasets will also be inclusive and representative of diversity across the Arctic research community as we believe open science is inherently inclusive.

In the first phase of this project, we are gauging what types of datasets or resources educators would value for teaching Arctic data science and we are ready to make these educational materials as broad or as in-depth as our community needs. We hope these materials will help students explore, discover, integrate, and use Arctic research data. We will also cover best practices for data preservation including the importance and creation of metadata, and how to use a data repository such as the Arctic Data Center. I hope that you can provide your insight into what you might need for your classroom via this google form. Feel free to reach me at