Data carpentry for environmental scientists

Jornada Basin LTER & New Mexico State University


March 7-9, 2022

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Instructors: Alesia Hallmark, Gregory Maurer, Edmundo Medina Gurrola, Jon Wheeler

Helpers: Darren James, Geovany Ramirez, Diana Toups Dugas

General Information

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students, and other researchers in environmental sciences. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: This training will take place online. The instructors will provide you with the information you will need to connect to this meeting.

When: March 7-9, 2022. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must have access to a computer with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are dedicated to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the instructors in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

Archived materials: The community chat and notes that were generated in the workshop have been archived on GitHub. See the public chat files and the etherpad exports.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Collaborative Notes

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
Lesson 1 Data Organization in Spreadsheets
  1:00 pm     Introduction
  1:18 pm     Formatting data tables in Spreadsheets
  1:53 pm     Formatting problems
  2:13 pm     Dates as data
  2:26 pm     Quality control
  2:46 pm     Exporting data
  3:00 pm ~15 min Break
Lesson 2 Data Management with SQL for Ecologists
  3:15 pm     Introducing databases and SQL
  4:20 pm     Accessing data with queries
  5:00 pm End of day 1

Day 2

Lesson 2 (cont.) Data Management with SQL for Ecologists
  1:00 pm     Aggregating and grouping data
  1:40 pm     Combining data with joins
  2:00 pm ~5 min Break
Lesson 3 Data Analysis and Visualization in R for Ecologists
  2:05 pm     Before we start
  2:35 pm     Introduction to R
  3:35 pm ~10 min Break
  3:45 pm     Starting with data
  5:00 pm End of day 2

Day 3

Lesson 3 (cont.) Data Analysis and Visualization in R for Ecologists
  1:00 pm     Manipulating, analyzing, and exporting data with `tidyverse`
  1:45 pm     Data visualization with `ggplot2`
  3:15 pm ~15 min Break
  3:30 pm     SQL databases and R
Advanced topics R for Reproducible Scientific Analysis
  4:00 pm     Producing reports with `knitr`
  5:00 pm End of day 3
After workshop Post-workshop survey


To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to software as described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

Install the videoconferencing client

If you haven't used Zoom before, go to the official website to download and install the Zoom client for your computer.

Set up your workspace

Like other Carpentries workshops, you will be learning by "coding along" with the Instructors. To do this, you will need to have both the window for the tool you will be learning about (a terminal, RStudio, your web browser, etc..) and the window for the Zoom video conference client open. In order to see both at once, we recommend using one of the following set up options:

This blog post includes detailed information on how to set up your screen to follow along during the workshop.

The setup instructions for the Data Carpentry Ecology workshops (with R) can be found at the workshop overview site.


This workshop is funded through the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement OIA-1757207. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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