THE OCEANOGRAPHY CLASSROOM: Co-Creating Learning in Oceanography

Want to know how to involve students in the design of your oceanography class and to “co-create learning”  – then read Mirjam and Kjersti’s recent paper “Co-Creating Learning in Oceanography“. They explain how to climb the ladder from “teacher controls everything” towards “student-staff partnership”, where the students have full control of their own learning. How far up the ladder you want to climb is up to you – and the students – but Mirjam and Kjersti give easy-to-include and adapt examples all along the way!

I’ll be teaching again this spring – helping Mari with the course in fjord oceanography – we’ll see where on the ladder we end up, but it sounds like a good idea to have the students determine the topic of their term papers based on keywords that Mari and I provide!


Post-defense thoughts

So – the defense is over – Eli did a splendid job presenting and defending her thesis and she can now put a “Dr” in front of her name! Congratulations Dr. Børve!

I’m happy with my contribution – although I keep wondering when I will stop being nervous (Eli on the other hand didn’t seem nervous at all, but “calm as a fridge”, as we would say in Swedish). I do realize that being nervous is such a waste of energy – but how do you stop?

Afterward, I found an e-mail from a colleague who had watched the defense in my inbox, telling me he thought I had done a good job. That one line was very much appreciated – we should write more e-mails like that!

Tides and transport – opponent for the first time!

Tomorrow, Eli Børve (UiO) is defending her PhD-thesis “Tides and Transport: Application to Lofoten and Vesterålen, Northern Norway” and – for the very first time I’ll be standing “on the other side”, as an opponent. Or standing –  I guess I’ll be sitting, in front of zoom… without flowers, Champagne, proud parents, and everything else that normally comes with a PhD-defense….

Eli has done an impressive job during the last couple of years, working with high-resolution models to study non-linear effects of tidal flow in the many straits of the Lofoten archipelago. I’ve learned a lot while reading her thesis, and I can assure you that it is much more exciting than it may sound! If the tidal current is strong enough, and if the strait opening is abrupt enough – then two vortices may form, one on each side of the strait, that “auto-propagate” (i.e. they move faster than the background tidal current) far enough from the strait opening that they are not caught by the currents when the tide turn. When this process (“tidal pumping”) is at play the transport through the strait, from e.g. the spawning ground of Cod on one side to the open ocean on the other side, is much greater than if the tides were just moving the same water back and forth… pretty cool!

From: Nøst & Børve, Ocean Science 17(5) (2021). Available via license: CC BY 4.0

Much of Eli’s work is already published – and I’m sure she will do just fine tomorrow!

Hopefully, I’ll do too… although I’m admittedly a bit nervous!

(and if you want to learn more about tidal effects on ice shelf melt in Antarctica (guess who came up with the topic!) – then have a look at Eli’s trial lecture here! )


New Antarctic Infrastructure project in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

Troll is the Norwegian research station in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. It was established in 1989 as a summer-only station, and since 2005 it has been manned (and womened) also in winter and, hipp hurray, we just learned that the Norwegian Research Council has decided to support a large upgrade and expansion of the research infrastructure at the station!

I’m involved in the “ocean package” which involves a continuation of the sub-ice shelf moorings at Fimbul, APRES deployment (to measure basal melt rates), and open ocean moorings on the slope. Here you can read about how the ocean influences the Fimbul ice shelf and about ApRES recovery at Fimbul.

Many thanks to Christina and NPI who have put a lot of effort into putting all of this together – I look forward to (continuing) our collaboration!!

ApRES deployment at the Fimbul Iceshelf in 2019. Photo: Sven Lidström, NPI

Python, cartopy, and quiver

My Python enthusiasm was severly damaged yesterday as I (after a lot of head-scratching) realized that it is not my programming that makes things look strange, but an error in the cartopy* package – when plotting vectors (such as e.g. currents from moorings) in a map using quiver, the vectors are wrongly transformed and end up pointing in the wrong direction… when googling the issue I quickly found solutions and workarounds (thank you StackOverflow!) but still… if I hadn’t tried to plot my scale vector at a 45degree angle I might never have found out…

So, what else can I not trust?

Quite far from 45 degrees 🙁







* a Python package to e.g. plot maps

The book is here!

After a bit of struggling in InDesign and with a lot of help from Ellen and google I’ve managed to put the Ninja story together into a book – which is now available online! So if you were wondering what to ask for in your letter to Santa… wonder no more!

Not everyone could wait until Christmas…

Books are sold at “printing price” – no profit to me (but I presume amazon makes a cent or two).


The first of December is Antarctica Day – and since the day and the world seem a bit gloomy today, I thought I’d share a 100% omicron-free Antarctic penguin-party with you.

Penguin-party in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica