What Is This?
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Unidata Online Python Training is an interactive, geoscience focused approach to learning Python. There are many excellent books and web sites to learn Python, and this effort does not aim to duplicate those resources. Rather, we take the approach that geoscience students will be engaged to learn Python if they are presented with material that is relevant to the fields of atmospheric and oceanic science. The interactive Jupyter notebooks attempt to cast programming concepts with geoscience objectives.
As much as we can, we try not to assume a programming or computer science background, but we will expect some exposure to geoscience. Programming concepts may be introduced as needed when we make a brief foray into object-oriented programming in the Times and Dates Jupyter notebook, for example.
The Introduction section and Whetting Your Appetite for Python Jupyter notebook explain the motivation for why Python is an excellent programming language and environment for geoscience analysis and visualization. The Getting Started section will help students get going with the collaborative programming website GitHub. We will then guide students on how to download and install Python. Next, we will explain how to run interactive Jupyter notebooks for geoscience exploration with Python.
The remaining sections, Beginning Python Concepts, Scientific Python Packages, Python for Meteorology, will consist of interactive Jupyter notebooks focused on teaching Python and scientific Python libraries by addressing geoscientific objectives.