Research

Sonification for data communication

A few weeks ago my partner shared a TED Talk with me that changed how I conceptualize data communication. In it Dr. Wanda Diaz Merced, an astronomer who lost her eyesight in her early twenties, discusses her journey back into science after this setback. A crucial technique helped her interpret hefty astronomy data sets- sonification. Sonification turns data into sound. It is analogous to data visualization, where both methods aim to communicate patterns and relationships within data clearly and efficiently.

GIS at Scale with Google Earth Engine

Sometimes your GIS project needs some extra oomph. Maybe finding the data you need to understand deforestation in Brazil is giving you a headache. Or, you need to run a machine learning algorithm on 50 gigabytes of weather station data and your poor laptop is melting the finish off of your dining room table. Google Earth Engine (GEE) is here to help. From the website, GEE’s purpose is to: Provide an interactive platform for geospatial algorithm development at scale Enable high-impact, data-driven science Make substantive progress on global challenges that involve large geospatial datasets GEE is designed to make large-scale GIS projects feasible, but is also suitable for smaller projects.

Funding sources for undergraduate research in ecology and evolution

Resources For students Broad Undergraduate Teaching Assistanceships Opportunities vary per university, but check with your department and work-study websites for information. Sometimes these opportunities aren’t advised well- if you have a class where you would like to do this, it doesn’t hurt to ask the instructor about opportunities! Here is an example program: University of Texas College of Natural Sciences NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates American Physiology Society Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship

PDIG Training Grant Spotlight: Connor French

There are a lot of insects in the world. Like a lot a lot. Recent estimates put the number of insect speciesat a whopping 5.5 million. Only about a million have names, leaving the other 4.5 million or so species undescribed. To put this into context, there are 8,053 described amphibian speciesand the projected number of undescribed species remains in the thousands. While I consider all life to be equally important (and I’m particularly fond of amphibians- I mean, just look at these), the gap in our understanding of insect diversity is especially concerning.