SQL for Ecology

Databases are useful for both storing and using data effectively. Using a relational database serves several purposes.

This lesson will teach you what relational databases are, how you can load data into them and how you can query databases to extract just the information that you need.

Getting Started

Data Carpentry’s teaching is hands-on, so participants are encouraged to use their own computers to insure the proper setup of tools for an efficient workflow.
These lessons assume no prior knowledge of the skills or tools.

To get started, follow the directions in the “Setup” tab to download data to your computer and follow any installation instructions.


This lesson requires a working copy of SQLite Manager for SQL.
To most effectively use these materials, please make sure to install everything before working through this lesson.

For Instructors

If you are teaching this lesson in a workshop, please see the Instructor notes.


Setup Download files required for the lesson
00:00 1. Databases using SQL What is a relational database and why should I use it?
What is SQL?
01:05 2. Basic Queries How do I write a basic query in SQL?
01:40 3. SQL Aggregation How can I summarize my data by aggregating, filtering, or ordering query results?
02:15 4. Joins and aliases How do I bring data together from separate tables?
How can I make sure column names from my queries make sense and aren’t too long?
02:50 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.