Smithsonian Data Carpentry Ecology Workshop

Smithsonian Institution


August 11-12 and 18-19, 2020

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Instructors: Jen Hammock, Amanda Devine, Mike Trizna, Bruno de Medeiros

Helpers: Carrie Craig, Jennifer Giaccai

This workshop has unfortunately sold out. You can join the Waitlist by clicking the “Join Waitlist” button below.
You can also go to and click the “Sign up for the Carpentries-announce mailing list” button to be alerted when future Smithsonian Carpentries workshops are announced.

General Information

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: This training will take place online. The instructors will provide you with the information you will need to connect to this meeting.

When: August 11-12 and 18-19, 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must have a laptop or desktop computer with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are dedicated to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the instructors in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Collaborative Notes

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1 - Tuesday, August 11

Tidy Data with Excel and OpenRefine

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
9:00 AM Workshop Introduction
9:15 AM Data Organization in Spreadsheets
10:15 AM Break
10:30 OpenRefine for Data Cleaning
Noon END

Day 2 - Wednesday, August 12

Querying Data with SQL

9:00 AM Previous Day Review and Question Session
9:15 AM Introduction to SQL
9:45 AM Basic Queries
10:15 AM Break
10:30 AM SQL Aggregation and aliases
11:15 AM Joins
Noon END

Day 3 - Tuesday, August 18

Introduction to Python

9:00 AM Previous Day Review and Question Session
9:15 AM Short Introduction to Programming in Python
10:00 AM Starting With Data
10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM Indexing, Slicing and Subsetting DataFrames in Python
Noon END

Day 4 - Wednesday, August 19

Data Analysis and Visualization with Python

9:00 AM Previous Day Review and Question Session
9:30 AM Combining DataFrames with Pandas
10:15 AM Break
10:30 AM Making Plots With plotnine
11:30 AM Workshop wrap-up
Noon END



To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

Install the videoconferencing client

If you haven't used Zoom before, go to the official website to download and install the Zoom client for your computer.

Set up your workspace

Like other Carpentries workshops, you will be learning by "coding along" with the Instructors. To do this, you will need to have both the window for the tool you will be learning about (a terminal, RStudio, your web browser, etc..) and the window for the Zoom video conference client open. In order to see both at once, we recommend using one of the following set up options:

The setup instructions for the Data Carpentry Ecology workshops (with Python) can be found at the workshop overview site.