NEON Data Education Fellows

NEON Data Education Fellows are proponents of using data in the classroom and teaching strong quantitative skills along with ecological concepts. All NEON Data Education Fellows participated in a five month long Faculty Mentoring Network focused on creating or modifying and implementing teaching materials using NEON data with their students.  Upon completion of the NEON Data Education FMN, these Fellows published thier Open Educational Resource on QUBESHub or another public resource.  All of these resources are freely available for other instructors to modify and implement with their own students. 

Learn more about the NEON Data Education Faculty Mentoring Network.


Nancy Cowden | Spring 2018 

University of Lynchburg

Nancy Cowden is an Associate Professor of Biology and curator of the Ramsey-Freer Herbarium at the University of Lynchburg. Her teaching and research interests focus on plant evolutionary ecology, especially population-level implications of plant-pollinator interactions. This adaptation of a NEON tutorial grew out of her desire to introduce upper-level students to R as a tool for exploring large data sets as a way to develop research questions that could be further examined on a local scale.

Teaching Materials: Gaining familiarity with R and Work with NEON OS & IS Data – Plant Phenology & Temperature: An Adaptation


Chris Gough | Spring 2018 

Virginia Commonwealth University

Chris Gough is Assistant Professor of Biology at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. His primary areas of research and instructional expertise are in terrestrial carbon cycling and forest ecology. The motivation behind his QUBES project module is a career-long reliance on open data from science networks, and recognition that ecology students have an unprecedented, but sometimes daunting, opportunity to apply this relatively new source of data to novel ecological questions. His module endeavors to inspire students to consider the opportunities and challenges afforded by these emergent open datasets.

Teaching Materials: Environmental Drivers of Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes from Minutes to Years


Jackie Hatala Matthes | Spring 2018 

Wellesley College

Jackie Hatala Matthes is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Advisory Faculty in Environmental Studies at Wellesley College. Her research focuses on feedbacks between ecosystem processes, climate change, and introduced insects and pathogens. She incorporates data and models into her courses at Wellesley to foster data literacy and computational skills. For the NEON FMN, she developed an app hosted on QUBES that visualizes phenology data from three NEON oak sites and an in-class exercise that uses this app.

Teaching Materials: Outstanding Oaks: Quercus Phenology at NEON Sites


Raisa Hernández Pacheco | Spring 2018 

University of Richmond

Raisa Hernández Pacheco is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Biology at the University of Richmond, Virginia where she teaches introductory biology and mentors research students. Her primary area of research are in animal population ecology. Her motivation to work on NEON data through QUBES relied on her interest in helping developing data skills among her students. Her module adaptation introduces students to useful data management exercises for a good large dataset icebreaker.

Teaching Materials: More In Depth Spreadsheet Management Adaptation of Data Management using NEON Small Mammal Data


Tyson Lee Swetnam | Spring 2018 

University of Arizona

Tyson Swetnam is a data scientist with CyVerse, located at the University of Arizona. His research career started as a fire management specialist for the USDA Forest Service and Rocky Mountain Tree Ring Research. He has a background in ecology, natural resource management, and dendrochronology with a strong emphasis on GIS and remote sensing. His FMN project involved creating tutorials for CyVerse cyberinfrastructure as a data science workbench for NEON AOP data.

Teaching Materials: CyVerse Tutorials for NEON Data Science Institute 2018


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