Key Takeaways from the EcoScience Project
eRSA has recently completed delivering a series of engagement activities with the aim of raising awareness for the digital infrastructure available in the EcoScience research field.
This includes the ecoEd program, several other EcoScience initiatives as well as effectively building a community of practice around the infrastructure. The engagement activity was conducted to identify the skills and training needs/gaps to inform on future training programs and ignite discussions around common issues and practices.
Through this activity we hoped to tap into the knowledge of the EcoScience community and identify ways to build continued support for them. To do so, we developed a series of ‘Pathways events’, entitled EcoScience Pathways to engage with the community. Throughout this project, we hosted three events across three states (ACT, WA, VIC) between May and August 2018.
The EcoScience Community we had the opportunity to engage with included academics, researchers, government practitioners, ecoEd user communities, NCRIS capabilities and more. Overall the pathways events were a great success and there were several key takeaways that will be vital for the future EcoScience research Landscape, here they are:
1. Inter-Disciplinary Teams
For future growth, networking and sharing of data and research there is a need to focus on inter-disciplinary teams.
Cross domain partnerships will be vital for continued interoperability and success.
3. Mechanisms for Contact
A need for the formation and development of mechanisms for contact that help users engage with scenario based learning.
4. Focus on Lifelong Education
We must acknowledge that this is a lifelong education – skills & training are always needed, and the more often training is made available and the tools made simpler, the better chances of adoption.
5. Adoption of research tools
There is a need to bridge the gap between research tools being developed and then getting them adopted by management – suggestion was to embed applied scientists within the research to industry framework.
6. Recognise Skills Gaps
There is an increasing need for skills to handle big data and currently we have prominent skills gaps in the area’s of data management, coding and scripting.
These findings will not only be used to inform on future initiatives for the EcoScience space around tools, skills and training but has already contributed towards the launch of the projects main deliverable: ecocloud.
ecocloud is a comprehensive workbench providing it’s users a single entry point to quality ecological and biodiversity data, the compute power to use it and the best tools to analyse it. Plus all the support tools and articles needed to guide them through their data life cycle.
Although it’s currently in early release, this one stop shop empowers ideas and elevates research results, more efficiently than ever. Access the ecocloud workbench at ecocloud.org.au using your AAF login now.