The Conservation Data Lab (CDL) is a group of students and young professionals who are learning technical skills, practicing through conservation projects and building an amazing community. The CDL is co-lead by Randy Swaty, ecologist with The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) LANDFIRE team, and Rachel Meier, senior associate with Lotus Engineering and Sustainability. Randy does some CDL work as part of his position with TNC; some of the work is volunteer. Rachel’s time is purely volunteer. Most projects are powered by LANDFIRE products and often serve TNC ‘clients’, though this is not always the case.
Members of the CDL were super productive, often contributing major efforts on top of school, jobs and other life events. We currently have 10 active members; 5 members moved to ‘alumni’ status.
Major projects included:
Draft bivariate map made in R by Hannah Young
BpS map for the Akiachak Village AK, by Lea Kemle
Map of old growth surplus/deficit, by Mary Kelly
This collection of major projects does not include all of the resume/cover letter and other smaller support projects we have completed in the last year. For example, Braden Kelsey completed a summer internship to craft several member profiles and project descriptions.
Additionally, the CDL continually updates our website, implemented a ‘bit’ of structure with some members taking on a mentor role, and has developed a very supportive community. We have weekly meetings, some of which have been graced by guests.
The CDL is vibrant and the community growing. We have multiple new members ‘in the wings’ and plan to continue the focus on being supportive and completing projects.