The outcomes of the partnership have been apparent each year that this course has been offered. In its first year, students focused on making basic improvements to the CTFS database design in order to better track and report the tree species found at BCI. In subsequent years, students worked to build and improve the database’s graphical user interface (GUI) for data entry, generalizing the database for all CTFS-SIGEO plots, and streamlining ways for scientists who aren’t well-versed in R to analyze data. Dr. Dolins said, “Each one of these projects have provided students with excellent real world, experiential learning opportunities. Students had to learn a new domain, interact with domain experts, and produce deliverables. They are much better prepared for their future careers in software and database development.”
Dr. Dolins is looking forward to sharing their current work with the 50 participants of the CTFS Workshop. His group will present its on-going work on data entry and the new user interface, with hopes of getting feedback directly from the users. They will also present future work ideas, such as visualization, data mining, and other analytical tools.
|Database working group from left to right: Anudeep Singh, Steven McHenry, Richard Condit, and Steven Dolins|