This page contains information for use by those attending the designated workshop session of the Tribal Data Academy and is provided as a place for instructors to organize and share workshop-specific details and resources.


Data Carpentry - Ecology Curriculum (R emphasis)

November 4th and 5th: 

9am-11am, 12pm-2pm PACIFIC

November 9th and 10th:

9am-11am, 12pm-2pm PACIFIC

Workshop Title: Data Carpentry - Ecology Curriculum (R emphasis)

Workshop Schedule: November 4, 5, 9, 10, 2020 | 9-11am PACIFIC, 12-2pm PACIFIC | other time zones
Workshop Host/Primary Contact: Kunal Marwaha (
ITEP Support/Contact: Lydia Scheer ( 

General Information

Workshop Contacts

  • Kunal Marwaha (
  • Angie Reed (
  • ITEP Support: Lydia Scheer (
  • For a list of all instructors and helpers for this workshop, see the "Contacts" tab on the Agenda

Participants must bring a laptop equipped with the following capabilities (note: tablets, phones, mobile devices or “netbooks” such as a Chromebooks are not recommended). Administrative access, firewalls, antivirus software, or other security protocols may affect installation—participants should work with their IT support to ensure accessibility and functionality prior to attending the workshop. The following is provided as a checklist for workshop participation requirements.

  • SET UP: Please download and install OpenRefine, R, RStudio, and the SQLite browser before the workshop starts. If you already have R and RStudio installed, please download and install the latest versions. More details are available on the this setup page. (
  • Download the latest version of Zoom.
  • Review the Zoom article on participating in Breakout Rooms
  • Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course. This workshop assumes no prior experience with the tools covered in the workshop. 


Workshop Description
Good data organization is the foundation of any research project. Most researchers have data in spreadsheets, so it’s the place that many research projects start. We organize data in spreadsheets in the ways that we as humans want to work with the data, but computers require that data be organized in particular ways. In order to use tools that make computation more efficient, such as programming languages like R, we need to structure our data the way that computers need the data. Since this is where most research projects start, this is where we want to start too! We continue by cleaning data with OpenRefine, then teach you how to use R and RStudio to perform exploratory analyses and learn how to plot results graphically. We use the same data set from a NSF long-term (> 40 yrs!) ecological research survey of small mammals in the Arizona desert throughout the course.

This workshop is intended for tribal professionals working with tabular data (data with rows and columns, e.g. Excel). The data used for this workshop is an ecology dataset - counts of animal species that were observed in different locations over time, along with information about their sex, weight, etc. This data is easily understandable by non-ecologists and is considered our most general-purpose workshop.

“Bring your own data” mentoring/sharing sessions will be scheduled to complement formal lessons by allowing time for students to work through the skills learned using their own datasets. Instructors/helpers will be on hand to assist and answer questions and guide the process; participants should bring sample datasets of varying formats to work with. Basic computer skills are recommended. 

Resources and Files

Post Workshop Activities
All participants should complete the following questionnaires after the workshop.

Several weeks following the workshop, instructors and hosts will convene a follow up session to reconnect with students and check in on any additional support needs, questions, or discussion needed around the workshop lessons. Students who have completed projects or made progress implementing the skills learned in their daily work are encouraged to share their work and all attendees are encouraged to use the time to exchange ideas and learn from others in this ‘user community.’  Participation is optional but strongly encouraged. Details and scheduling will be sent via email to all attendees after the workshop concludes.