Hacking Ecology: The Infiltration of Coding in Ecology for Data Integration, Analysis, and Visualization

Tuesday, August 11, 2015: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
345, Baltimore Convention Center
Christine M. Laney, University of Texas at El Paso
Jason W. Karl, USDA Agricultural Research Service
Christine M. Laney, University of Texas at El Paso
Writing computer code for the purpose of analyzing, managing, and visualizing data has never been more necessary or prevalent in ecological and environmental research. The next century of ecology will be hallmarked in part by 1) intensive use of automated sensors recording a broad variety of parameters that, decades ago, were not considered feasible to observe, 2) fusion of spatial, temporal, biological, and genetic data to support cross-disciplinary fields such as evolutionary ecology, biogeography, and biogeochemistry, and 3) fusion of data collected by students and ‘citizen scientists’. The tools developed to document, manage, analyze, and visualize these data in order that they are understood and preserved for generations of scientists to come will need to be developed in part by ecologists that understand the science driving technological innovations. This session will introduce a broad range of code that has been developed and used by ecologists for their research. It will begin with an overview of how coding is becoming an integral part of ecological research and education. Following speakers will demonstrate code that: 1) generates insightful visualizations of multi-dimensional data, 2) makes data more easily accessible and integratable in the cloud, and 3) makes data actionable by blending community crowdsourced data with spatial data and models. This will be followed by a brief talk about data skills for early career ecologists in the upcoming century. The session will conclude with an audience-driven and participatory discussion of code use in ecology and directions that are foreseen over the decades to come.
 Facilitating data-intensive research in ecology
Ethan P. White, University of Florida
 Hacking the past: How to resurrect the dead with computational models
Sandy M. Kawano, NIMBioS; Richard W. Blob, Clemson University
 codyn: An R package for analysis of long-term ecological community data
Andrew MacDonald, University of British Columbia; Lauren M. Hallett, University of California, Berkeley; Sydney K. Jones, University of New Mexico; Scott L. Collins, University of New Mexico; Corinna Gries, University of Wisconsin; Matthew B. Jones, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
 Building the Biodiversity Knowledge Engine (BKE)
Robert D. Stevenson, University of Massachusetts
 Facilitating knowledge discovery and visualization through mining contextual data from published studies: Lessons from JournalMap
Jason W. Karl, USDA Agricultural Research Service; Jeff Gillan, New Mexico State University
 Big data, big opportunities! 21st century data skills for ecologists
Leah A. Wasser, NEON, Inc.; Christine Laney, NEON
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