NAU researchers win $3 million NSF grant to train teams of data detectives with ecological expertise

Read the full story from Northern Arizona University.

When it comes to how climate change is impacting ecosystems, there’s no shortage of data out there. But finding enough people who know both ecology and how to interpret that data can be a different story. A team at Northern Arizona University is wagering that more skilled interpreters can help make sense of this data deluge, and their idea just won a five-year, nearly $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to train graduate students in tackling big ecological questions through informatics, collaboration and better communication.

Led by principal investigator Kiona Ogle, a professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS) and the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss), with co-PIs Jay Barber (SICCS), Andrew Richardson (SICCS, ECOSS), Benjamin Ruddell (SICCS) and Temuulen “Teki” Sankey (SICCS), the NAU team is one of 17 across the nation to nab an NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) award. They will use the grant to recruit and train more than 50 doctoral students in team-based approaches that apply data science to some of the biggest ecological questions the world is facing.

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