Another goal of our event was to explore creating new workflows for expanding efforts beyond an existing focus on federal agency environmental and climate data. Toward that end, we decided to pilot a new track called Surveying which we used to identify and describe programs, datasets and documents at federal agencies still in need of agency primers. We were lucky enough to have particular domain experts on hand who assisted us with our efforts. In total, we were able to begin expansion efforts for agencies and departments at the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Federal Communications Commission.
Goal 3: Engage and build community
Attendees at our event spanned age groups, occupations, and technical abilities. Participants included research librarians, concerned scientists, and expert undergraduate hackers; according to national developers for the Data Rescue archiving application, MIT had the largest number of “tech-tel” than any other event thus far. As part of the Storytelling aspect of Data Rescue events, we captured profiles for twenty-seven of our attendees. Additionally, we created Data Use Stories that describe how some researchers use specific data sets from the National Water Information System (USGS), the Alternative Fuels Data Center (DOE), and the Global Historical Climate Network (NOAA). These stories let us communicate how these data sets are used to better understand our world, as well as make decisions that impact our everyday lives.
Data rescue events continue to gather steam, with eight major national events planned over the next month. The next DataRescue Boston event will be held atNortheastern on March 24th. A dozen volunteers and attendees from the MIT event have already signed up to help organize workshops and efforts at the Northeastern event.