Meet the Experts - Part 4
Training Development & Executive Education, Institute for Environmental Analytics
Q1: Tell us a bit about yourself
I started my career as an electronic engineer but, by the end of my physics degree, I wanted to do more environmental science and worked for the Met Office as a weather forecaster and air quality modeller. I later became a meteorological trainer, which I really enjoyed. I’ve worked in Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and taught English in Brazil.
Q2: Tell us about your role at Data Tree
I developed the original course outline and am the overall project leader. I do all kinds of incidental jobs that keep the work moving and the course coherent, from checking course content to finding experts to contribute, to tweeting.
Q3: Tell us about the purpose of Data Tree – what will students get out of completing it?
Both data management and communicating research are gaining more of a profile in the world of environmental science. Data Tree matches that recognised need and will be an easy way for people to access fundamental information in a format that can be worked through as a course, and then easy to revisit for that vital bit of guidance just when it is needed.
Q4: Why is Data management, application and communication important for PhDs and ECRs?
When working in air quality research I got by on data management and knew that I should have been more organised. I did back-ups, wrote readme files and commented code, but could have done a lot more to make my research more robust and reproducible. I’d like learners to find through the course that there are ways to be more ordered and that data management shouldn’t be an afterthought.
And with communication, there are three modules because there is rarely ‘one size fits all’ for communication. Different audiences require different emphases on presentation and content, and it might only require tweaks, but understanding your audience and adapting will make your communication make an impression.
Q5: What’s your top tip for PhD students and ECRs starting out in their careers?
Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself.
Q6: If you weren’t an environmental science expert, what would you be?
I would be a food scientist, mountain hut warden or heavy plant operator.
Find out more about Vicky and her experience here: