Category: Data

At the AGU meeting, inspiration and camaraderie

At about 8:30 am on the morning of December 4th, in the hallway by the elevator on the ninth floor of a hotel in downtown San Francisco, I met a nicely dressed and impatient woman. “I’ve let two elevator cars go by,” she said, frustrated. “They were packed full of people wearing name tags around …

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DC Representation at AGU 2012

by Matt Mayernik, UCAR/NCAR   The Data Conservancy will be well represented in San Francisco next week, Dec. 3-7, for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. The AGU Fall Meeting brings together around 20,000 scientists, professionals, and educators who …

Big Data: Call for your words and images

Our three-part series on Big Data is an invitation to discussion.
We’re looking for YOUR best stories, essays and images related to Big Data in ecology and environmental science. We’ll highlight excerpts from our favorites here on our blog will be available within the comments of this blog.
We’re aiming to represent a range of ideas as well as cultivate deep discussions around focused subtopics. As long as it relates to Big Data and ecology/environmental science it’s fair game, but we are particularly interested in discussion of the following points:

What’s one of the biggest challenges of ecological Big Data, and how can/should we address it (or what is someone already doing to address it)?…

Creating a digital menagerie

NEON technicians will collect and identify countless insect specimens over the lifetime of the observatory. To put it into perspective, during a short prototype collection at one site over three weeks using 20 traps, we collected close to 400 ground beetles. Now imagine 40 traps collecting insects at 60 sites for several months every year …

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Reflections on remote sensing, ecology and the NEON AOP

A few summers ago, I spent my time in the field hugging trees. While I’ve been called a hippie in the past, this was hardly hippie behavior. This was research. I was an ecology Ph.D. student studying streamside forests and measuring things like the diameter and canopy heights of trees. I trudged through countless miles …

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Macrosystems Biology: How to share, manage and cite big data and team science?

Last month, I participated in the first Principal Investigator meeting of NSF’s new Macrosystems Biology program. The NSF solicits proposals to “support quantitative, interdisciplinary, systems-oriented research on biosphere processes and their complex interactions with climate, land use, and invasive species at regional to continental scales.”
The first groups of projects cover an incredible range of topics, and are embracing a wide range of research approaches. In a pre-meeting survey, projects reported using simulation models, developing new theory, fitting empirical models to multi-scaled data, analyzing paleoecological data and implementing experiments across linked networks ofsites. Almost half the groups reflected the newness of the continental-scale approach by including significant educational activities.…

Using long-term data sets to trace the impacts of environmental policy

Salmon Pond in Maine, one of the bodies of water from our study.

Just before I became a staff scientist at NEON, I and colleagues from the University of Colorado, Environmental Protection Agency, and University of Maine took a new a look at some long-term data to help answer a question that has been perplexing scientists for several decades: Why is the amount of dissolved organic matter (the stuff that gives water that brownish-yellowish tint) increasing in lakes and streams of the northeastern United States and Europe? Our study contributed to growing evidence suggesting that it’s a symptom of recovery from acid rain.…