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One dimension of my science communication work is creating visualizations of data and concepts to communicate complex environmental issues to specific audiences, especially non-specialists. This page shows a selection of examples from visualization projects I have led. Please contact me if you are interested in high resolution versions or code. More projects will be added soon.

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Population Trends

I created a data visualization website that I maintained from 2012-2020. The goal of the site was to create a one-stop location for the latest information on the population status of every bird species in Connecticut that is represented in the United States Geological Survey’s Breeding Bird Survey. I offered several types of visualizations, each of which had a distinct purpose:

  • Animations, which showed route-level data and its relationship to population trend estimates from Bayesian models (click screenshot below to go to animation).

CTBirdTrends
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  • Movement charts (based on the Hans Rosling bubble chart), which allowed the user to create their own plots for any species or groups of species.

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  • Super graphics, which showed population trends for every species represented in the data to facilitate inferences about community level trends and the state of Connecticut’s bird populations as a whole (click below for high resolution version)

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  • I updated trend estimates and graphics from this work to support an article I wrote with Dr. Robert Askins for Connecticut Audubon Society's State of the Birds report. The article discussed the status of early successional species for a non-specialist audience.

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Dashboards for informing federal policy

I've been exploring new ways to deliver complex data sets through online applications and interactive visualizations to inform agency policy and actions. Two of the examples below integrate ecological and physical data related to the globally endangered Saltmarsh Sparrow (Ammospiza caudacuta) to inform actions supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Atlantic Coast Joint Venture. The third example is a pilot dashboard aimed at synthesizing information on the current population status of species listed on the Endangered Species Act.

Online apps
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Tidal marshes

Coastal issues

I've created several visualizations to support communication for issues affecting coastal specialists. 

  • Animated plots use movement or animated data to communicate complex processes that would be difficult to show with static plots. I'm especially interested in exploring new ways to show population trajectories, especially when the curve is more complex than a simple increasing or declining trend line. I've also used animations to simplify complex life history processes that are important for communicating extinction risk, like the influence of the lunar cycle on the productivity of tidal marsh specialists. These animations have been featured in several outlets (e.g. the upcoming text book, Estuarine Ecology, and the Long Island Sound Study's blog). 

Offshore wind

I've created several visualizations to support planning and decision making for offshore wind development, especially in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. 

Offshore wind
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Teaching

Interactive visualizations for teaching

I've created several interactive apps to communicate difficult concepts in statistics - especially Bayesian updating, uncertainty, and sampling - for teaching at the graduate level; click to visit the apps.

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