Funding Awarded for First Round of NEBDIH-Sponsored Big Data Workshops

As part of our mission to address high-priority challenges with data-driven solutions, the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub put out a call for workshop proposals this spring. We sought to support community-driven workshops that are designed to plan and develop Big Data projects, and are delighted to announce our first round of workshop awards!

New York Hall of Science – Data and You: Solving Local Problems

Organizing Committee

Project Lead: Steve Uzzo, New York Hall of Science

Catherine Cramer, Columbia University Data Science Institute

Johnny Fraser, New Knowledge Organization

Mary Davis Fornier, American Library Association


Increasingly, the revolution in data science is influencing decision-making in many if not most sectors of society. This revolution in data proliferation must be acknowledged with a complementary revolution embodied in a new kind of literacy. The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), along with Columbia University, New Knowledge Organization Ltd, and the American Library Association (ALA) will convene two workshops to further the development of a framework for data literacy and its dissemination.

The workshop organizers will bring together information specialists and members of ALA leadership in a one-day workshop to take place at ALA headquarters in Chicago. The goal is to articulate the needs, barriers, programs, resources and and trajectory of data literacy from the perspective of public libraries. This workshop will be followed by a two-week fact finding period based on the input from libraries about these needs, barriers, programs, and resources.

This fact-finding phase will be followed by a community-based workshop in Queens, New York that will bring together representatives of diverse urban community groups and nonprofits, K-12 students and teachers, lifelong learners and professionals. Participants will advance the data literacy framework through discussion and iteration, in a format similar to the previous workshop. Similarly, this workshop will be followed by a two-week fact finding period based on the input from these groups about needs, barriers, programs, and resources.

National  Audubon Society – Modernize avian data workflows to empower bird conservation at multiple scales

Organizing Committee

Project Lead: Kathy Dale, National Audubon Society

Joanna Grand, National Audubon Society

Walker Golder, National Audubon Society
Ruth Boettcher,  Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Leo Salas and Rob Serafini, Point Blue Conservation Science
Caleb Spiegel, John Stanton, Megan Sadlowski, and Emily Silverman – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


As ubiquitous and easily-observed organisms, birds are ideal indicators of ecosystem health, and are therefore the subject of many small- and large-scale science programs. The study of large-scale phenomena, such as climate change impacts and species’ global assessments, is best served through the integration of evidence from these many sources in order to complete representative samples that encompass the full range of a species, and for enough years to understand its natural variability.

Despite current efforts to catalogue these datasets in the U.S. and worldwide, the uncoordinated management of bird monitoring data remains a major barrier to effective avian conservation. This challenge must be addressed if conservation biologists hope to mitigate or reverse the rapid population declines many species are undergoing at multiple scales. The aim of this workshop is to develop a plan to modernize the description, aggregation, management and visualization of disparate and siloed bird monitoring data leveraging Big Data Hub resources and expertise. This workshop will consist of a discovery process to provide more explicit specifications for leveraging knowledge in the Big Data Hub community to create a coastal bird data warehouse instance in AKN, data onboarding process, and visualization products.

We’ll share further updates about these workshops as they become available.If you didn’t apply this round, keep an eye out for our next round of workshop funding, coming out later this year. We’ll be announcing it here on the website as well as via our newsletter and Twitter. Stay tuned!

-Katie Naum