Here’s an overview of some of the indispensable tools and resources that I use to do my work.

Table of Contents


Audacity: Open source software for multitrack recording and editing. This is my go to for quick playing, formatting, and visualizing audio data.


R Studio: The most popular interactive development environment (IDE) for R. It’s free, easy to use, and has tons of nice features. Highly recommend this.

oce: R package for analysis of oceanographic data developed by Dan Kelley, Clark Richards, Chantelle Layton (all currently or previously at Dalhousie) and others.

cmocean: beautiful colormaps for oceanographic variables, and easily implemented from oce. As a quasi-colorblind person I tend to be pretty picky about colormaps and find these fantastic. I use them for all of my section plots.

Report Writing

TeXstudio: An awesome LaTeX editor

Beamer Theme Matrix: Good resource for trying out different themes for presentations using LaTeX

Text editing

Sublime Text: Great simple text editor

Atom: Github’s fantastic open source text editor / IDE. This thing can do just about anything: project management, version control, text editing, coding and more. It’s open source development and spirit has encouraged people to develop tons of packages to expand its capabilities to do just about anything you want.

Reference Management

Mendeley: Powerful tool for managing references

Going to sea

Sea sickness meds: If you ever feel queasy, these are the ticket. You can’t buy them in Canada, but I’ve heard of people having them made up by the pharmacy.

OpenCPN: Open source chart plotting tool. You can also download all the NOAA charts for free and use them here. This is an indespensible tool for planning deployments / cruises / etc.

Google Earth: Another decent tool for deployment planning, but tends more towards fancier graphics and less towards useful information (e.g. bathymetry). The KML/KMZ format can be pretty frustrating as well.

Windy: Folks in Nova Scotia take their weather very seriously. I learned about this app on a cruise with the Canadian Coast Guard. They commonly refer to it for planning trips offshore. It’s fantastic, and looks pretty nice too.

Marine Traffic: Real time AIS positions for ships around the world. They also now include vessel density maps.