Draft page: EDI Summer 2020 Fellowship Program

Photo: Fellows and EDI team members at the data publishing workshop at UNM in June 2019.

The Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) has nine fellowships available in its ecological data management training program for Summer 2020. The fellowships are intended for undergraduate, graduate and recently graduated students. This fellowship is available only to applicants legally living and studying in the US. The duration of the fellowship training program is June 9 – August 14, 2020 and requires full-time commitment to the training activities. The fellowship support of $5000 will be administered through the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The fellows will receive training in ecological data management and gain hands-on experience through participation in data preparation, archiving and publishing with scientists and information managers at specific host research sites. For a list of host sites and on-site mentors, see here.

Important dates

  • Deadline for fellowship application: 13 March 2020
  • Fellowship training workshop: 9 June – 11 June 2020
  • Host site fellowship: 15 June – 14 August 2020

EDI-hosted data publishing workshop

The fellowship is preceded by a mandatory in-person data publishing workshop at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque (June 9 – June  11, 2020), during which the fellows learn about data cleaning and formatting, metadata content, the Ecological Metadata Language (EML) and how to create EML using the R programming environment. Furthermore, the fellows will be instructed on how to archive data packages in the EDI data repository. EDI will pay for workshop travel, accommodation, meals and direct travel from the workshop to the host site.


The fellows are required to participate in the initial EDI-hosted workshop. Following the workshop, the fellows will gain hands-on experience in archiving and publishing data packages in the EDI repository and support their host site in developing a longer-term data management strategy. Fellows will be expected to participate in regular online meetings as an opportunity to receive guidance and feedback from EDI team members and to exchange ideas and experiences with the group of fellows. Although not required it is highly recommended that the fellows plan to spend the summer at the hosting site. However, EDI will not cover lodging and meals outside of the training workshop and specific arrangements will have to be negotiated between the host site and the fellow.

To successfully complete the training program a basic interest in data science is necessary. Basic skills in Excel, some programming experience as well as some experience in collecting and analyzing ecological data are advantageous.

How to apply

Please send a cover letter and CV directly to the site mentor as announced below, as well as to Dr. Susanne Grossman-Clarke (grossmanclar@wisc.edu), training program coordinator for EDI, no later than 13 March 2020. Please have two references send their letters of recommendation directly to Dr. Grossman-Clarke and to the site mentor. At least one letter of recommendation must be from a professor/faculty member. The second may be from a graduate student TA or employer. If you are interested in more than one site, please apply to each of them separately.

Please contact Susanne Grossman-Clarke (grossmanclar@wisc.edu) if you have questions.

Host sites and on-site mentors for training program

  1. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Location: Stockton, CA
    Mentor: Dr. Jereme Gaeta (jereme.gaeta@wildlife.ca.gov)
    “Archiving historical datasets from the San Francisco Bay Estuary (SFE), including (1) a periodic Delta-wide (freshwater and brackish area of the SFE) shoreline electrofishing survey and (2) a fish survey of Suisun Marsh, an area critical to the ecology of endangered Delta Smelt.”
  2. Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership. Location: Rockland, ME
    Mentor: Phoebe Jekielek (phoebe@hurricaneisland.net)
    Planning for the future: Organizing data and developing data management, data use, and data sharing plans for the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership.
  3. LTER soil organic matter synthesis working group. Location: Tempe, AZ
    Mentors: Dr. Stevan Earl (stevan.earl@asu.edu) & Dr. Will Wieder (wwieder@ucar.edu)
    “Publishing data from numerous cross-site, coordinated research activities that are contributing to a synthetic analysis of factors controlling the persistence and vulnerability of soil organic matter.”
  4. Natural Resource Ecology Lab. Colorado State University. Location: Fort Collins, CO
    Mentor: Chris Dorich (chris.dorich@colostate.edu)
    “Archiving and publishing of a Global N2O Database, along with workflow documents and data products.”
  5. Organization for Tropical Studies. Location: La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica.
    Mentor: Enrique Castro (lead mentor), Eugenio Gonzalez, Orlando Vargas, Deedra McClearn (deedramcclearn@gmail.com)
    “Rescuing Legacy Data on Native Tree Growth in Costa Rica”
  6. Pepperwood Preserve. Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    Mentor: Dr. Tosha Comendant (tcomendant@pepperwoodpreserve.org)
    “Long-term monitoring of climate, hydrology, vegetation, and wildlife in inner Coast Ranges of California.”
  7. Stroud Water Research Center. Location: Avondale, PA
    Mentor: Dr. Charles Dow (cdow@stroudcenter.org)
    “Compiling, cleaning, and publishing, stream water quality and quantity time series data collected via low-cost sensors built on an open-source electronics platform at the White Clay Creek stream/watershed. An example of the types of data involved can be viewed here for a site near the research facility.”
  8. University of California Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL). Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
    Mentor: Dr. Thomas C. Smith (tcsmith@ucsb.edu)
    “The Sierra Lakes Inventory Project: non-native fish and community composition of >8,000 lakes and ponds in the Sierra Nevada, California.”
  9. University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS). University of Michigan. Location: Pellston, MI
    Mentor: Jason Tallant (jtallant@umich.edu)
    “Organize data collected from various federally funded projects at UMBS for publication and work with web based metadata management tools and associated database(s).”