Moore Foundation contribution to Data Carpentry

Authors: Tracy Teal BLOG

We are excited to announce that Data Carpentry has received a contribution from the Moore Foundation to support its activities and growth. Data Carpentry teaches researchers skills for working more effectively with data - skills that enable the paradigm of data-driven discovery being advanced by the Moore Foundation. With the Moore Foundation’s support, we will be able to help researchers in all domains accelerate their research.

Data Carpentry, a sister project of Software Carpentry, was started in 2014 with funding from the NSF (1), NSF BIO Centers (2) and DataONE. We develop curricula and run workshops that are 1) domain specific; 2) target fundamental data analysis and data management challenges; and 3) require little or no prior programming experience. We have already delivered several introductory workshops for biology that cover topics such as working more effectively with spreadsheets, using SQL for data management, and analyzing data with R and command-line tools. The funding from the Moore Foundation will enable us to run more of these workshops, develop lessons in more domains (including social science, genomics, and geosciences), train instructors, and engage the broader data science community.

To lead these efforts, Data Carpentry’s board of directors has selected Dr. Tracy Teal of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action as its project lead. Tracy has already been working on this project through BEACON and will now be able to devote herself to the project full-time. Tracy has a background in interdisciplinary data science, computational training, and open and reproducible research. As an NSF postdoctoral fellow in biological informatics and then assistant professor at Michigan State University, she has written open source bioinformatics tools and developed a research program in metagenomics and microbial ecology. She has been a Software Carpentry instructor for more than three years and developed and taught numerous workshops in bioinformatics, microbiology, and statistics. Aside from her role in Data Carpentry, she continues to be engaged in efforts on open and reproducible research as a committee member of Workflows for Reproducible Research, the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists Open Science group and on the interim board of the Software Carpentry Foundation.

With the emergence of more data and larger datasets in all domains of research, we believe that knowing how to work effectively with data can be a transformative experience for scientists. We are therefore very excited by the opportunity to grow Data Carpentry. You can keep track of what we’re up to through our blog, website, email discuss list, GitHub and Twitter. If you are interested in helping, or in hosting or attending a workshop, please get in touch!

(1) NSF Career award for Ethan White
(2) SESYNC for Mike Smorul, NESCent for Hilmar Lapp and Karen Cranston, BEACON and NSF 12-101 for Tracy Teal and iDigBio for Deborah Paul, Matt Collins, Kevin Love and François Michonneau.

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