Spring SFS EMERGE Workshops for Students

James Vonesh

Mar 1, 2022

Emerge - NEON + R: Data Analysis Workshop
The NEON + R: Data Analysis Workshop is offered once per Emerge cohort year. This is a 3-day, on-site workshop to introduce use of Program R while exploring and analyzing National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) data. While we expect graduate students to benefit the most from this workshop, it is also open to undergraduate and early career Emerge fellows.
NEON is set to play a central and transformative role in the future of ecological research. In freshwater systems, NEON data include >200 physicochemical and biological variables, measured seasonally at each of 36 sites throughout the contiguous United States, Alaska and Puerto Rico. These data resources are now available for diverse purposes, ranging from basic research on community structure to macroecological modelling of richness and body size. Visit https://www.neonscience.org/ for more information.
R programming language has provided free access to a wealth of statistical and computational tools. Complex algorithms such as Monte Carlo simulation, multivariate ordination, spatial data analysis, network analysis, and Bayesian inference can be implemented in R without extensive training in statistics or computer science. Visit https://www.r-project.org/ for more information.
The workshop for the 2021-2022 Emerge cohort was held on January 2-6, 2022. Emerge fellows travelled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to stay at Sevilleta Field Station where they spent three full days and four nights. Days were spent mining and analyzing aquatic NEON data with Program R, writing and submitting two abstracts for the 2022 Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting, and exploring nearby Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Emerge - Visual Communication: Graphic Design Workshop
The Visual Communication: Graphic Design Workshop is offered once per Emerge cohort year. This is a 3-day, on-site workshop to introduce fellows to use digital media tools to communicate with general audiences about science. While we expect graduate students to benefit the most from this workshop, it is also open to undergraduate and early career Emerge fellows. Strong visual communication skills can be of great value to scientists as they search for effective ways to disseminate their work. Well-designed images are effective storytelling devices that often have greater communicative power than primarily text-based media. This workshop will teach fellows to work with open-source software called Inkscape. By integrating charts and maps from R and ArcGIS software in Inkscape layouts, fellows will learn to create attention-grabbing yet scientifically accurate media. This workshop is based on a semester-long course taught at Virginia Commonwealth University; read "An Arts-based Approach to Science Communication Training" to learn more.
Fellows who attended the NEON + R workshop will have the opportunity to feature that work in a poster or infographic. Because the Visual Communication workshop is scheduled in the spring, work will be ready for presentation at the SFS Annual Meeting, which, in 2022, is at the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in May. The workshop for the 2021-2022 Emerge cohort is being held on March 5-9, 2022. Emerge fellows will travel to Manhattan, Kansas to stay at the Konza Prairie Biological Station where they will spend three full days and four nights. Days will be spent learning graphic design skills, creating and voting on a scientific poster to present at the 2022 Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting, and exploring the prairie’s natural landscape.