Teach Ecological Concepts Through Data Exploration Using Science Pipes
Sunday, August 4, 2013: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
101E, Minneapolis Convention Center
Kenneth M. Klemow
Sunshine L. Brosi
Ecology instructors are increasingly using data to teach ecological concepts. Though data are increasingly made available – especially online, getting students to manipulate often-complex datasets to produce meaningful conclusions often proves difficult. This workshop will introduce participants to Science Pipes, which is a data analysis and visualization system created at Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Participants will first become acquainted with the framework of Science Pipes. They will then become familiar with the three main categories of components within Science Pipes: datasets, tools to manipulate data within those datasets, and visualization tools. Participants will learn how to graphically connect the inputs and outputs of each component to produce desired graphs and tables depicting the results of the analysis. Participants will then be provided guided instruction to ecologically relevant datasets within Science Pipes. Those datasets, created in partnership with ESA’s EcoEd Digital Library, allow students to learn concepts including intercontinental diversity patterns, cemetery demography, forest species composition, evolution of Darwin’s finches, and historical reconstruction using pollen data. Participants will then be given time to explore Science Pipes on their own or in small teams. The workshop will conclude with a reporting-out session in which participants will reflect on their impressions of Science Pipes and will discuss ways that they plan to use it to improve their own teaching. If time allows, the group will brainstorm on other forms of ecological data that could be considered for inclusion within Science Pipes.