Education and Training

Training Scientists in Key Data Skills

The NC CASC trains the next generation of earth and environmental scientists and resource managers through data-intensive workshops that cover core programming and earth systems data topics. We aim to support educators and stakeholders in best teaching, learning, and co-producing actionable knowledge for climate adaptation in resource management. 

Workshops are aimed at federal and state agency employees, university researchers, graduate students, members of tribal organizations, and others who work to address global environmental change. Content is designed for participants from a wide range of prior skill levels and backgrounds. 

A Virtual Learning Environment to Maximize Reach

There is a great need for training in the data-intensive skills required to work with climate data and overwhelming interest in past NC CASC workshops has reflected this. As such, we aim to achieve the broadest reach possible. To support this, all training content is published on our free and open learning portal, along with hundreds of other lessons, allowing participants all over the world to benefit from the material. This portal receives over 2 million unique global users each year.

To maximize accessibility, workshops are taught using a cloud-based JupyterHub which ensures sufficient compute power for all students and allows for learning without any complicated tool installation. After the event, interactive lessons are also posted on GitHub. Binder is  also available to take the place of our JupyterHub which allows learners to work through them at any time. Many of our events support fully virtual attendance via video conference platforms.

Content Grounded in Robust Assessment & Evaluation

Workshop content is grounded in assessments of training needs among climate change adaptation researchers and practitioners. Through surveys, we identify the data skills and tools that climate professionals desire to learn. We also survey attendees prior to and after workshops to ensure effectiveness, continuously improve, and identify best practices and challenges for teaching and learning earth data skills. 

Past & Planned Workshops

Past and planned workshops include:

  • Grasslands-Climate Workshop: In this workshop, participants learned tools and gained practice in incorporating considerations of climate change into management decisions. This workshop was collaboratively organized by the North Central CASC, the Northwest CASC, the South Central CASC, and the US FWS. Training included information delivery, hands-on tool training, peer-to-peer networking, and a scenario-based exercise, as well as a presentation on the use of the Climate Toolbox from Imtiaz Rangwala of the North Central CASC. Find the recorded sessions and additional resources here
  • Climate Data 101 in Python: This workshop teaches participants how to use scientific programming to work with climate model data. It covers using Python to open, subset, convert to csv, and visualize MACAv2 netcdf data. Explore the full workshop content here.
  • Open and Reproducible Workflows: This module guides participants in moving from proprietary spreadsheet or GIS tools to programming-based analyses that are free, open and reproducible.
  • Working with Heterogeneous Data Formats: Participants in this training learn how to convert and combine data into useful formats for various analysis needs. It includes hands-on activities that apply and challenge data skills.