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ESIP Student Fellow – Summer Highlights!

One of our other fellows, Kelly Monteleon, posted about her summer travel plans last week (link) and it made me pause and think about my own.  I love summers as a student.  Normally I do a lot of traveling – conferences, visiting friends I don’t see year round, and research.  This summer will be similar but a bit different.  I am working on my dissertation proposal and it means I have to turn down a lot of opportunities.

The high points of this summer are two back to back meetings.  First is the ESIP Summer Meeting at Copper Mountain.  I am part of the Data Stewardship Committee (DSC) and will assist with our business meeting and report on the status of our use case activities.  This is one of many ongoing projects in the DSC.  I am constantly impressed how ESIP members step up and work together to accomplish projects, papers and other outcomes.   Members of the committee are also working on a publication for Science and a piece for DLib.  Projects vary from data citations to data management (additional information about all of these projects can be seen on our website mentioned above).

I find the summer meeting to be a great environment for networking as well as learning more about the current state of the field.  I currently work in information and library science (though I am a geologist by trade) and ILS can have a different lens on the same issues.  Attending ESIP helps me stay connected to the earth science and technology side of things and allows me to share my research with people it may directly impact.

In my personal research, I am interested in how people access information, specifically their information seeking processes and how they solve their information needs.  For my dissertation I plan on studying scientists who use physical samples in their research, in this case well cores and cuttings.  I hope to work with the various State Geological Surveys (http://www.stategeologists.org/index.php) as well as the USGS’s National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (http://datapreservation.usgs.gov/) to recruit scientists who use geological and geophysical data in their research and through qualitative research, I hope to develop a model of their search behavior.  This model would be used to influence the way we provide access to data, the development of information retrieval systems, information policies as well as training and education related to information seeking.

From the ESIP summer meeting I will head to Pittsburg for the 2014 AERI meeting (http://aeri.gseis.ucla.edu/2014.html).  AERI stands for Archival Education and Research Institutes.  This is one of my other communities, archives.  I switch roles here, representing the sciences to the archival community (as opposed to ILS to ESIP).  Last summer I presented a poster with previous ESIP fellow Angela Murillo entitled “Understanding User Motivations Regarding Earth Science Data Re-use: Assessing Opinions on Skills, Access and Trust”.  The poster was based on research funded by an ESIP FUNding Friday Grant (http://wiki.esipfed.org/index.php/FUNding_Friday_Projects#2012_Winners) and we won best poster at AERI!  It is exciting for me to be able to share the work I do at ESIP with this other community and to build connections between them.  In the future I hope to bring more of knowledge from the archival and preservation world in to the ESIP community.