Presentation Open Access

Building communities of practice around environmental open data science

Julia Stewart Lowndes

Environmental scientists are a diverse community that ranges from climatologists to geneticists, but we are united by an enormous need to work efficiently with data – and by the fact that we seldom have formal computing or data analysis training of any kind. There is great opportunity to borrow from the work of software engineers and use collaborative open tools that facilitate better science in less time. However, a fundamental shift is needed in the environmental science community that prioritizes data science and provides emerging scientific leaders training in open science tools and practices to strengthen and accelerate their work. I will discuss my work to catalyze this shift at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Building from our open data science work with the Ocean Health Index, I will discuss a program have recently launched in January 2019 as a Mozilla Fellow: Openscapes, a mentorship program that empowers environmental scientists with open data science tools and grows the community of practice.

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