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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Director Ben Halpern delivers opening remarks to attendees inside of the Cabrillo Pavilion. Opening Remarks

NCEAS Director Ben Halpern opened the first day, discussing the goals of the two-day un-conference in building community and fostering collaboration. One hundred participants gathered at downtown Santa Barbara's Cabrillo Pavilion, a newly renovated, open space overlooking the ocean.




Dr. Dawn Wright stands at a podium. To her right are four panelists seated on stools. In the foreground, facing the panel, are the EDS Summit participants.Career Panels

Dawn Wright, PhD, moderated a panel on the first day of the summit, which focused on the various entryways and individual journeys to environmental data science careers. “This is a thing, we are part of a thing! For this thing to flourish we must be inclusive. There is room for every single one of us in this field, in this experience.”




A view of East Beach in Santa Barbara on a sunny day. Individual Reflection

As part of the un-conference, individuals were given time and space, including access to Santa Barbara's downtown beach boardwalk, to contemplate what they thought were the biggest challenges facing the environmental data science community around diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ).




Two Summit attendees talk together outside the Cabrillo Pavilion. In the background is the Pacific Ocean shining in the sunlight; the sky is cloudless.Speed Mingling

The first day of the 2023 EDS Summit kickstarted community-building by facilitating friendly data science conversations. Participants were asked to "speed mingle," switching between partners to discuss topics such as their journey to environmental data science and projects they were currently excited about.




Four people gather around a small circular table outside, with East Beach and the ocean behind them.Ideation Sessions

Following individual reflections and a paired sharing session, breakout groups gathered to further discuss their ideas for advancing DEIJ in environmental data science. This provided time for groups to narrow in on their most promising idea and determine actionable steps for achieving that goal.




Large pieces of paper with handwritten ideas are attached to a wall. Two people are using markers to add feedback.Idea Feedback

Each group's idea was outlined on a poster and presented to all attendees, with details on the problem, solution, and expected outcomes. Participants then wandered the room, providing feedback or coalescing ideas. Participants then voted, choosing ten ideas for collective focus on day two.




EDS Summit attendees gather for social hour on the patio of the Cabrillo Pavilion at sunset. In the background is East Beach, sailboats on the calm ocean, and a diminishing horizon line of mountainous coastline.Kickstarting Community

At the end of the first day, participants gathered for a happy hour overlooking East Beach in Santa Barbara. This community building was key for fostering continued work and collaboration outside of the summit – many participants are continuing work on summit topics, with most collaboration taking place online.




Keynote speaker Elisha Yellow Thunder speaks into a microphone while standing in front of a large presentation screen displaying a slide from her presentation, which reads, "Lakota Paradigm and Data Science". Keynote Speakers

On the morning of day two, before group work, Elisha Yellow Thunder presented on Lakota Data Sovereignty and Community-Based Research. She offered early examples of Lakota maps that showed points, lines, and areas. "Just because you don't look like me, you are no less connected to the Earth."

Category: Center News

Tags: Environmental Data Science, EDS Summit, Events