NICAR 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana

An alligator in the Pearl River near the Honey Island Swamp

I attended a conference that was outside my field of expertise this year as a part of the NSF traineeship (NRT) I participated in, Environment & Society, Data Sciences for the 21st Century (DS421). The conference was the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting by the Investigative Reporters & Editors society (NICAR2020) held in New Orleans, Louisiana. I attended because I wanted to learn science and data communication from the professionals: data journalists. It was fascinating to see the similarities and differences between our fields and approaches. I learned a lot at this conference and definitely feel better equipped to share my data, especially in online formats. I also feel more prepared to one day work with a journalist who might be interested in a writing a story on my science. The conference was held just adjacent to the French Quarter in NOLA. It was my first time visiting the city (a bucket list item, for sure). The people, culture, and architecture of NOLA are just beautiful, and the food and drink are delicious. I even snuck in a swamp tour the morning before my flight. It was a great experience!

Jenna Ekwealor
Jenna Ekwealor
Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Fellow studying evolutionary eco-physiology of stress tolerance in plants with the Smithsonian Institution Data Science Lab.