The Patience of the Data Hunter

CC BY-NC 2.0 by golden goat via flickr

Eileen had become an expert in datasets involving oil spills around the world. Horrified but equally fascinated by these man-made disasters, she had made a career out of tracking the oil spills and their ecological fallout. While she often felt sickened by witnessing such devastation, Eileen’s gloomy specialty had at Continue reading

To Be, or Not To Be (an Author)

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by 
Ernst Gräfenberg via flickr

Collaborative datasets and their resulting publications can produce some truly spectacular insights. But as more voices find their way into the collective conversation, managing the social interplay between partners can result in confusion and lost time – the continual headaches that creep up all too often in collaborative work. Meredith, Continue reading

The Long and Winding Road to Public Data

CC-BY-NC-SA by DJOtaku via flickr

Dr. Watson was accustomed to seeing dead things. As a wildlife ecologist, he had made a career out of investigating animals and their untimely demise under the rumbling engines of motor vehicles. Animal road mortalities had a reputation for being difficult to track because the majority of incidents went unreported, Continue reading

If Trees Could Talk

CC BY-NC by derekbruff via Flickr

In the United States, the 1930s was far from a time of plenty. Through the Great Depression, Americans witnessed a razing of the financial system that, on the heels of the prosperous 1920s, seemed nearly incomprehensible. A time of hunger, homelessness, and desperation, the Great Depression sticks in our national Continue reading