Earth Week Data Jam
A week of working and playing with environmental data
This Earth Week, join Penn Libraries' Research Data and Digital Scholarship team (and friends) as we create, analyze, visualize, and experiment with data related to environmental issues and the natural world. Whether you're interested in learning how to decode professional data visualizations, working with qualitative data, or building your own data set from the ground up, we hope you find something that meets your needs.*
These sessions are either in person or online (but not both). If you're joining us in person, we ask that you consider the wellbeing of others and wear a mask.
*If you don't, let us know!
Monday April 18 at 2pm (online): Using NVivo to Analyze Perceptions of Environmental Change
If you are working with qualitative data, such as focus groups, interviews, videos, even open-ended survey questions, NVivo can help save you time. This session will help you get started using NVivo by learning about the benefits of using the software, organizing a project, getting started in coding, and doing basic queries and visualizations. Participants will work from a sample project called Environmental Change Down East.
Monday, April 18 at 3pm (in person): Visualizing and Analyzing Renewable Energy Data
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducts clean energy research, development, and deployment. Their research explores energy systems and technologies—and the science behind them—for a future powered by affordable, abundant, and clean energy. As a product of their research, plenty of renewable energy related geospatial data has been made available freely for a public use.
This session will demonstrate how to obtain, visualize, and use selected renewable energy geospatial datasets from NREL. The following two datasets will be of particular interest:
- Rooftop Photovoltaic Technical Potential in the United States. This submission contains data that underlies the 2016 technical report Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Technical Potential in the United States at a zip-code level.
- NREL Biomethane GIS Data. This datasets contains information about the biomass resources generated by county in the United States. It includes the following feed-stock categories: crop residues, forest residues, primary mill residues, secondary mill residues, and urban wood waste.
Tuesday April 19 at 11am (in person): My Climate Story Workshop (PPEH)
The My Climate Story team at the Penn Program in Environmental Humanties (PPEH) is partnering with Research Data and Digital Scholarship at Penn Libraries to produce a workshop in climate storytelling. Join us and collaborate to create an archive of how you have sensed climate change where you live.
Stories of climate change are often illustrated by emaciated polar bears, storms on steroids, or apocalyptic fires. Yet many climate impacts are less immediately recognizable. My Climate Story is a public research project and curriculum that makes global climate change personal. Interactive workshops create climate conversations and guide participants to recognize how local climate impacts are impacting their lives in the here and now--and shaping their life stories.
Climate stories from the workshops are, with author permission, included in My Climate Story's public "storybank," a resource for exploring how diverse individuals are making meaning of changes more typically measured in quantitative measures of atmospheric CO2 or sea levels and their rates of change.
Tuesday April 19 at 1pm (in person): Audubon in Action: Creative Approaches to Data
In this session, come test emerging technologies and digital methods to enhance the impact of the Penn's collections. Experiment with the latest project, Birds of Philadelphia, which uses high-resolution images of Audubon's plates from The Birds of America alongside crowdsourced observation data to consider the depiction of wildlife data through visual, aural, and interactive components. Participants will find creative ways to amplify, build on, and disseminate data from environmental collections and crowdsourced projects.
Tuesday April 19 at 3pm (in person): Embodied Information: Local Trees, Datasets, and You
This workshop is one of two sessions exploring tree data in The Woodlands, an historic garden and cemetery within walking distance of Penn's main campus. In this session, we will explore the small, subjective, and personal side of data: what Giorgia Lupi calls data humanism and Kelly Dobson calls data visceralization. We will visit the Woodlands for a short nature walk and gather our own small datasets based on our experience there. Collectively, we will consider what these small and subjective data experiments can show us, how they compare to other kinds of data collected about the Woodlands, and how small data and big data together can ultimately illuminate different experiential realities of a place or an ecosystem.
Wednesday, April 20 at 12:30 pm (online): What's Going On in This Graph?
Data journalism is increasingly used to help the public understand complex scientific and social issues, but what makes an effective data visualization? What techniques should we employ to create compelling graphs and tell better stories? Using environmental data, we'll examine a set of real-world figures and graphs to identify techniques commonly used in data journalism and explore how to thoughtfully incorporate them into our work. Then we will learn to recreate them responsibly and reproducibly using the R Programming language.
While this themed session focuses on environmental data, the concepts here are transferrable and applicable to a wide range of subjects where data plays an important role in understanding research outcomes, information diffusion, media literacy, etc.
Wednesday, April 20 at 3pm (in person): Visualizing Botanical Variety in The Woodlands with Mapbox
The Woodlands is an historic garden and cemetery within short walking distance of Penn's main campus. The 54-acre site is long renowned for its beautiful landscape, and its Arboretum is home to over 1,000 trees. This workshop will demonstrate the creation of a choropleth (bounded heat map) visualization from tree inventory data provided by The Woodlands, using the free and easy to use mapping platform Mapbox. Join us in exploring The Woodlands' diverse and magnificent botanical landscape with digital tools that can change the way we see and experience the natural world.
Thursday, April 21 at 1:30pm (in person): Visual Design Tactics for Data and Information Visualization
Are you interested in using data visualizations in your work, but not sure how to visually present them? Looking for an introduction to concepts in methods in visual design for information and data? This session will cover some of the basic principles of visual and graphic design. We will share best practices for how to apply visual design principles to your data visualizations for multiple contexts: print, presentation, poster, web, etc. We will discuss key examples from the field of information design, and then conduct hands-on exercises in planning your design and fine-tuning it for publication. No specific tech or software skills are required.
Thursday, April 21 from 4pm to 7pm (in person, drop in): Freeplay: Eco Gaming Showcase
Stop by the Education Commons and try out some environmentally-themed video games.
Friday April 22 at noon (online): Introduction to Data Ethics
What are some of the ethical challenges we as researchers face when we choose to work with data? What potential benefits and harms can come from collecting, analyzing, and sharing it, and what questions should we ask ourselves before deciding to do so? This session will introduce resources at Penn and beyond to guide ethical practice in data collection and sharing.
Friday, April 22 from 3pm to 5pm (in person, drop in): Mapathon
Join the Research Data and Digital Scholarship team for a Penn Mapathon event, as we participate in the Missing Maps Project, a global effort to map areas where humanitarian organizations are trying to meet the needs of people who live at risk of disasters and crisis. We'll trace features such as buildings and roads from satellite images onto an open basemap, which will then be edited and completed by communities on the ground. No prior experience is necessary and training and guidance will be provided.