EDI 2021 Summer Fellowship Program

The Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) has 16 fellowships available in its ecological data management training program for Summer 2021. The fellows were selected by the site mentors from a large number of excellent applicants. For a list of host sites, host site mentors and a brief project description, see here.

Important dates

  • Virtual data publishing training workshop for fellows: 14 June – 18 June 2021
  • Engagement with host sites: 21 June – 19 August 2021


The Fellows are required to participate in the initial virtual data publishing workshop (June 14 – 18, 2021), during which they learn about data cleaning, metadata content and the Ecological Metadata Language. Furthermore, the fellows will be instructed on how to publish data in the EDI data repository. Following the workshop, the Fellows will gain hands-on experience in preparing for and publishing the host site’s data in the EDI repository.

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

Host sites and mentors for training program

Due to COVID-19, some of these fellowships will definitely be remote, while others are as yet undecided. Please contact the site mentors with questions on the details of the project.

  1. Baylor University, Center for Aquatic Systems Research (CRASR). Location: Remote
    Mentor: Stephen Powers (s_powers@baylor.edu)
    Project description: “CRASR facilitates research on aquatic systems inclusive to biogeochemistry, ecology, and human health considerations. CRASR operates a shared water chemistry lab that applies analytical methods supported by EPA guidance (e.g., total phosphorus, major ions) to analyze many thousand samples each year. The Fellow will synthesize, disseminate and publish a variety of CRASR water data. Three existing datasets involve water quality monitoring of surface water bodies of Central Texas: Lake Waco (biogeochemistry, vertical profiles of dissolved oxygen and water temperature) and Richland-Chambers Reservoir (continuous sensor data from multi-parameter sondes). Depending on the Fellow’s interest, many other CRASR water datasets are available for archiving. In summer 2021, CRASR plans to begin disseminating data subsets using an online Rshiny data dashboard and the Fellow could be part of the development.”
  2. The Buzzards Bay Coalition (BBC). Location: Woods Hole, MA
    Mentors: Rachel Jakuba & Alice Besterman (besterman@savebuzzardsbay.org)
    Project description: “The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization focused on the protection, restoration and sustainable use and enjoyment of Buzzards Bay and its watershed. We pursue our mission to save Buzzards Bay through research, conservation, education, and advocacy. BBC collects thousands of environmental measurements annually, including ecological, hydrologic, and geophysical assessments. The Fellow will focus on BBC’s salt marsh program that started in 2019 (including 12 vegetation datasets, 4 fauna datasets, 9 geophysical datasets, and dozens of hydrologic datasets, in various stages of processing) and create reproducible workflows from data entry to analysis (data cleaning, develop data and database management plans). All workflows, code, and datasets produced by the Fellow will be published in EDI.”
  3. Organization for Tropical Studies. Location: Remote, with a possibility (conditions permitting) of visiting Palo Verde field station (Costa Rica).
    Mentor: Deedra McClearn (deedramcclearn@gmail.com)
    Project description: “The Fellow will organize, compile, and safeguard 30 years’ worth of pesticide data and effects on water quality (several chemicals) from the Palo Verde wetlands in Costa Rica. Data collection occurred at 8-10 sites during each of three study periods: 1992-1994, 2001-2005, and 2009-2011.  The Fellow will work in close collaboration with the mentor team, with the possibility of follow-up work at the end of the fellowship period. A more complete description of the project is provided in this document.”
  4. Pepperwood Preserve. Location: Santa Rosa, CA for part of the time & remote
    Mentor: Dr. Tosha Comendant (tcomendant@pepperwoodpreserve.org)
    Project description: “Pepperwood is a 3,200-acre preserve located near Santa Rosa in the inner Coast Ranges of California (Sonoma County, CA). The Fellow will contribute to publishing the climate and hydrology time series data from the Preserve’s reference weather station (since 2010), as well as data collected from four weather stations installed in 2019. If time allows, there may be additional opportunity to develop data curation processes and publish data from and additional 17 soil moisture stations across the preserve. The Fellow will utilize and update EDI-based workflows created by the previous EDI fellow.”
  5. Quetzal Education Research Center. Location: San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica
    Mentor: Brendan Blowers De León (bblowersdeleon@mail.snu.edu)
    Project description: “The Fellow will develop a standardized workflow for ingesting data from the previous five years of our field station’s 30+ years of cloud forest ecology research.The Fellow will create a database of research from transects through a river habitat and a primary premontane rain forest. The data will be published in the EDI data repository.
  6. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The Jefferson Project at Lake George. Location: Field station (conditions permitting) Bolton Landing, N.Y.
    Mentor: Larry Eichler (eichll@rpi.edu)
    Project description: The Jefferson Project at Lake George -a collaboration between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research, and the FUND for Lake George- is a sophisticated technological approach to studying fresh water, with a goal of understanding the impact of human activity on fresh water, and how to mitigate those effects. The fellow will publish data associated with the Jefferson Project sensor network for Lake George, NY, including lake and tributary chemistry from the Lake George watershed. The fellow also has the opportunity to contribute to the  workflow and automation of the project’s increasingly diverse high-frequency data and metadata sources.”
  7. UC San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Location: La Jolla, CA                                  Mentor: Dr. Clarissa Anderson (clrander@ucsd.edu)
    Project description: “The Fellow will review and automatize the data pipeline used to ingest data from the  Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System and the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System program (weekly water samples from nine sites) into the Harmful Algal Bloom Alert and Monitoring Program as well automatize the publication of these data in the EDI and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) data repositories.”
  8. UC Santa Barbara, Jenn Caselle Lab/Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium (PARC). Location: Remote
    Mentors: Dr. Jennifer Caselle (caselle@ucsb.edu) and Dr. Alex Wegmann (The Nature Conservancy)
    Project description: “PARC, together with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been conducting ecological, oceanographic and behavioral research at Palmyra atoll since 2002. The Fellow will have the opportunity to contribute to curating existing data, compiling appropriate metadata, publishing in a Palmyra Research EDI data repository, while also creating a data catalog of past research at Palmyra atoll. If interested, the Fellow will contribute to developing data editing and publishing workflow protocols for future PARC and TNC data as well as assisting with a conservation impact survey  from Palmyra researchers.”
  9. University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. Location: Remote
    Mentor: Sarah Elmendorf (sarah.elmendorf@colorado.edu) and Chris Ray (cray@colorado.edu)
    Project description: “The Fellow will have the opportunity to archive four datasets collected in the southern Rockies over the past decade. Each dataset features multiple years of semi-hourly subsurface temperatures recorded by sensors positioned in taluses and boulderfields used by the American pika. Core tasks will include trimming records to sensor in-situ dates, checking for erroneous records, applying existing R code to model minimum and maximum daily temperatures from semi-hourly data, and concatenating records into non-proprietary tabular formats to publish in the EDI repository. The Fellow will also document each step as a workflow for ongoing projects.”
  10. University of Florida, Dept. Environmental Engineering Sciences. Location: Remote
    Mentor: Dr. Kathe Todd Brown (kathe.toddbrown@essie.ufl.edu)
    Project description: The Fellow will develop a workflow for the integration of EDI data with the International Soil Carbon Network (ISCN) data product, with the potential for contributing to an existing open source R-package for harmonizing the data contributions for the ISCN. There is a possibility for the Fellow to co-author a data paper describing the new ISCN data product, depending on interest and contribution level.”
  11. University of Montana, Flathead Lake Biological Station. Location: Flathead Lake Biological Station (Polson, MT)
    Mentor: Shawn Devlin (shawn.devlin@umontana.edu)
    Project description: “Flathead Lake Biological Station researchers have designed and installed environmental sensor networks within the Flathead watershed around Flathead Lake, a long-term research site. The Fellow will clean, quality control data from the LakeNET sensor network that records meteorological variables (air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, precipitation, soil temperature and moisture) and water conditions (water temperature, depth, and turbidity). The data will be published in the EDI data repository”
  12. University of Nevada, Aquatic Ecosystems Laboratory. Location: Field setting (Castle Lake, NV)
    Mentor: Sudeep Chandra (sudeep@unr.edu)
    Project description: “The Fellow will have the opportunity to publish long-term data for Castle Lake, NV and Cliff Lake, NV (pelagic data: primary productivity, zooplankton biomass and composition; dissolved oxygen, nitrate, ammonium, nitrogen and others). Additional lake data for shorter time periods (benthic invertebrates composition and production, lake temperature and more) as well as  watershed and climatological variables (run off, water quality, air temperature and more) are available for processing if time allows. The mentor team will support the Fellow with the  quality control of the data.”
  13. University of Virginia (VA), Virginia Coast Long-Term Ecological Research (VCR/LTER). Location: Remote, with a possibility (conditions permitting) of visiting the UV Coastal Research Center (Oyster, VA).
    Mentor: John Porter (jhp7e@virginia.edu)
    Project description: “The Fellow will focus on two similar sensor-based datasets to create a workflow that uses quality control and quality assurance techniques and data visualization, coupled with gap-filling, to transform 31 years of raw meteorological and tide level data into high-quality, analysis-ready data. The work will draw on data from multiple sampling locations and integrate it with data from other sources (e.g., NOAA) to provide the highest-quality data products. Data and workflow will be published in EDI.”
  14. University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, Journey North. Location: Remote
    Mentor: Nancy Sheehan (nsheehan@wisc.edu)
    Project description: “Journey North (JN) is a crowdsourced, citizen science project that encourages people from across North America in tracking wildlife migration and seasonal change. JN citizen scientists have collected event-based phenological data for 10 major migratory species, including monarchs and hummingbirds. The Fellow will contribute to publishing 25 years’ worth of observational data in the EDI data repository as well as develop a workflow that supports updating the published data with future observations. This work will include data cleaning and prep work using R or SQL. The Fellow will also be tasked with archiving datasets from closed projects. Depending on time and interest, the Fellow could also be involved in two additional initiatives: (1) database normalization to create a relational database integrating JN “sightings” database and “registration” database; and (2) integration of selected JN datasets into data visualizations using Tableau. At the close of this fellowship, the Fellow will present their work to the UW-Madison Arboretum staff and write an article for publication on the Journey North and Arboretum online news channels.”
  15. USDA Forest Service, Marcell Experimental Forest. Location: Marcell Experimental Forest Research Station, MN
    Mentor: Nina Lany (nina.lany@usda.gov)
    Project description: “The Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF) in northern Minnesota is operated by the USDA Forest Service and was established in 1962 to study the ecology and hydrology of peatlands. The Fellow will work with meteorological data gathered by environmental sensors in the 890-hectare MEF and develop scripted workflows (R and/or Python) to (1) organize raw data & conduct quality control; (2) display data within a visually appealing online data dashboard; (3) publish data in the EDI data repository. If time allows, the Fellow could write additional scripts to convert data to a specific format maintained by the  Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science to promote data synthesis work.”
  16. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS). Location: Remote
    Mentor: Paula Fornwalt (paula.fornwalt@usda.gov)
    Project description: “The Fellow will help make long-term climate data for one or more US Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFRs) accessible by cleaning the data, preparing metadata and publishing the data in the EDI data repository. The main EFR is Manitou, CO with climate data collected since 1936. As time allows, the Fellow will be able to publish climate data for other EFRs, such as Crossett (Arkansas), Desert (Utah), Fort Valley (Arizona), Fraser (Colorado), Harrison (Mississippi), Hitchiti (Georgia), Santee (South Carolina), Sierra Ancha (Arizona), and Stephen F. Austin (Texas).”