The goal of this course is to provide an in-depth introduction on numerically representing a coupled biological and physical system. This class will consist of lectures and class discussions of methods and results. This is a hands-on class. Most exercises will build upon the previous leading to each student having constructed a coupled biological and physical ocean model of the tropical Pacific ocean. This model will be used to simulate the biological production during various wind and circulation conditions. The primary tool used in this class will be Matlab, but any other programming language (Python, FORTRAN, C, etc.) is welcome. No prior programming experience is required, and Matlab tutorials will be provided during lectures covering all necessary aspects.
The concepts that will be covered include: Matlab programming, introduction to basic numerical methods (numerical integration, finite-differences, etc.), concepts of phyto- and zoo-plankton interaction, spring bloom and physical forcing, derivation and analysis of NPZ biological equations, derivation and analysis of shallow-water ocean equations, wind-forcing of the ocean, physical forcing of biological production during ENSO, and discussions on how to interpret and analyze model output data.
In this course, we will develop a wind-forced physical model of the tropical Pacific that is capable of modeling the El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). We will couple a Nutrient-Phytoplankton-Zooplankton (NPZ) within the Pacific model and examine the system as a whole.
In this video, we can see the depth and flow of the surface layer during annual ENSO cycles.
Your grade will be determined using a combined score from the exercises and class discussion: 90% exercises and 10% discussion/presentation, respectively.
Various exercises will be assigned throughout the semester. On the date that each assignment is due, the class will discuss the assignment: the results, both expected and unexpected, problems, triumphs, etc. until we arrive at an agreed upon solution. The assignment solutions will then be provided so that no student can fall behind as each exercise builds on the previous. The output from each exercise will be shown and discussed to provide an introduction on how data are analyzed and processed. The final assignment will be an individual project and each project will be presented in the final week of the semester.