Science-ing as a new parent postdoc

Wow, my last post here was over a year ago, which nearly feels like a lifetime ago.

I had a baby. I am a scientist.

But balancing those two things feels like a constantly evolving magic trick. In the past year, I’ve learned a lot about myself, how to take care of a tiny human being, and how to keep getting work done. My heart has grown at least three sizes.

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GitHub and the working group – Part II

In an earlier post, I outlined my plans to try to teach and use GitHub for code related to our big Biodiversity Working Group. Feb 22-26, 20 members of the group met in Leipzig, Germany, and 6 more (including myself) participated remotely (#sChange on twitter). I felt this was a bit of an experiment, as our group is quite large, and I knew that the majority of participants would be novice git users. There is much yet to do now that the workshop is over, but after a week, I can definitely identify a few challenges and successes in using GitHub for our working group. Continue reading

Announcing Early Career Mentoring Program at ESA 2016

I’m cross posting this opportunity for funding ($200), one-on-one mentoring, and networking with fellow early career peers, from the Early Career Ecologist Section of ESA. I organized and launched the Early Career Mentoring Program last year, with the help of several other early and established ecologists, at ESA 2015. We received outstanding feedback from last year’s participants – both mentors and mentees really enjoyed the program and some have even maintained longer-term connections and communication post ESA. We’re running the program again at ESA 2016 this year for early career graduate students or postgrads who are entering a transitional career stage (last year of graduate program or 3 years or less post graduation date). Find out more details and how to apply here! Continue reading

GitHub and the working group

Over the past year, I’ve been co-organizing a jointly-funded, large, international working group (with co-PIs Maria Dornelas, Mary O’Connor, and Andrew Gonzalez). The group has had several meetings now (October 2014, May 2015, June 2015) and will meet again next week with the goal of finishing ongoing projects and making major progress on several new ones. I’ve learned a lot about managing large collaborative working groups through this process, but one area I’ve been thinking a lot about this week is how to maintain good communication before, during, and after the working group, especially with respect to code. Continue reading

Time management and science

Time management is important in any career. You want to get the work done that you need to, you want to do it in a reasonable amount of time, and you want to leave enough extra time to do all the other things in life that you enjoy. But in positions where work time or location is largely unstructured, keeping track of how you get things done and how efficient you are can be a lot more difficult.

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Quick recap of ESA 100

It’s been about a month since the Centennial Ecological Society of America (ESA 100) meeting (August 9-14, 2015) in Baltimore. Overall, I enjoyed the meeting and found it to be an especially productive week for reconnecting with my collaborators and mentors. Although I still attended many good presentations, I spent more time meeting with people and discussing projects than going to talks, which represents a shift from my previous years attending ESA. Continue reading

Citizen and Open Science Approaches in the Anthropocene

This week I’m at the annual Ecological Society of America meeting (ESA) to take in the buffet of ecology! There’s a great Organized Session happening tomorrow (8-11:30 am, Tuesday August 11) on “New Perspectives for Ecology during the Anthropocene: New Paradigms, Technologies and Collaborations“. We’ll be tweeting at #AnthropEcology and #ESA100 if you’d like to follow along remotely.

My talk on citizen and open science approaches, using our hummingbird hummer_bandmigration study as an example, is online at figshare and I encourage tweeting/sharing if you attend the presentation (apparently ESA’s official policy this year is to assume that tweeting is NOT OK, unless explicitly invited to tweet).

If you’re at ESA this year, come say hi to me @srsupp!

Contribute time-series datasets for biodiversity change!

For the past year, I’ve been helping to lead of a series of Biodiversity Change Working Groups (funded via sDiv and CIEE, with Maria Dornelas, Mary O’Connor and Andrew Gonzalez). Our goals include resolving controversy in the magnitude and direction of observed diversity changes, theoretically evalutaing methods for estimating and comparing biodiversity across scales, assessing current gaps in data, and analyzing current time series datasets of biodiversity. We are assembling a database of biodiversity time series. Continue reading