Training Overview

NCEAS is committed to increasing the scientific community's skills and abilities to participate in data-intensive ecological research by providing state-of-the-art learning opportunities. Our training typically focuses on developing skills in the use of methods and tools for synthesis science, including exposure to the technologies that facilitate data access, analysis, collaborative workflows, and visualization.

Summer 2014: Open Science for Synthesis - software skills training for early career scientists
This 3-week intensive workshop will be co-lead by NCEAS and University of North Carolina's RENCI in both Santa Barbara, CA and Chapel Hill, NC from July 21 through August 8, 2014.

An integral part of the NCEAS experience is the exchange of both scientific and technical information that takes place among Center scientists. When Working Groups meet at NCEAS, there is a knowledge ‘cross-pollination' that occurs among the participants of the group as well as with Center Residents both in terms of the scientific research aims, as well as the technological means they use to achieve those ends. 

In addition to the atmosphere for continuous informal information exchange and learning, NCEAS provides consultation services for its scientists in the areas of programming and analysis and informatics; as well as general technical support. A Scientific Computing Knowledge Base serves as a portal for cataloging general approaches to computing in ecology as experienced at NCEAS. Focused training opportunities in an array of scientific and technical areas are also provided to NCEAS' residents and visitors.  

  • The Open Science for Synthesis - software skills for early career scientists - is a three-week intensive training workshop that offers participants hands-on experience using best practices in the technical aspects that underlie successful synthesis and collaboration.
  • NCEAS Informatics experts present at workshops, conferences, and training sessions around the world, helping to build the knowledge base and human capacity for advancing synthetic, collaborative science.
  • NCEAS hosts weekly Roundtable Discussions on current research pursuits with NCEAS, UCSB, and visiting scientists. Discussions generally take place on Wednesdays 12:15 - 1:15 each week. Sign up to receive NCEAS Roundtable announcements.
  • Resident Postdoctoral Associates with backgrounds in the ecological and environmental sciences, receive ongoing career development and training.
  • NCEAS engages graduate students as interns and as part of research working groups. Data sharing ethics and tools are integral to the success of these large, geographically dispersed collaborations. Graduate students “learn by doing,” is supported by the NCEAS Informatics and Scientific Computing staff. Since its inception, more than 700 students have participated in Distributed Graduate Seminars.


The Public Understanding of Science

Scientist Jai Ranganathan is interviewed by local NPR journalist Lance Orozco during media training at NCEAS

NCEAS’ commitment to furthering the public understanding of science includes communication initiatives and a variety of other activities.

NCEAS communication initiatives address the need to explain ecological issues, research, and solutions to the public, policy makers, and resource managers in order to enable informed decision making at all levels. Therefore, NCEAS provides media training for our scientists, publicizes our scientists' research activities to the press and collaborates with other organizations, such as the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS), Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), and the California Ocean Communicators Alliance to promote effective communication of science to the public.

NCEAS also carries out its commitment to the public understanding of science through a number of community outreach activities, and through the press. The Center and its scientists participate in the broader community by:

  • Sponsoring local public outreach events such as the recent Jellyfish ROCK: Reaching Out to Community & Kids at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. 
  • NCEAS' Kids Do Ecology (KDE) is a program developed by NCEAS for 5th grade classes to provide inquiry-based instruction in the scientific method as applied to ecological questions.  While initially designed to provide scientific enrichment to under-served children in the local Santa Barbara community, the Kids do Ecology Website (En Español) is now a nationally recognized, educational, participatory, bilingual (Spanish/English) website. Our website has received numerous commendations and is linked from educational sites throughout the world.