Things got pretty wild last week for two EMC technologists.
The Whenology project brings previously separate data sets together to begin the process of studying relationships between climate change, phenology, and bird migration. This data is collected primarily by citizen scientists through different organizations such as Earthwatch, eBird, the Hawk Migration Association of North America, and the USA National Phenology Network.
John works as a researcher in EMC's Advanced Research & Development (ARD) division of the Office of the CTO. John, like myself, has a long history of building enterprise-class software running inside EMC's storage systems. As EMC continues to morph into a company that helps our customers build analytic applications, John's career has been augmented with analytic skillsets that uniquely qualify him to not only build storage systems but also write the applications that analyze data in those storage systems.
For the Whenology research project John built a "climate data lake". Vice President of ARD Ken Durazzo had this to say about the climate data lake and corresponding research:
This work is exposing some very important data, used to create a greater understanding of our planet. It showcases the value of analytics in a real-life use-case, using analytics to create new knowledge as well as put historical data into perspective / context.
If you are interested in some of the research output so far, I strongly recommend browsing the Explore link on the Whenology website.
The other technologist getting wild was myself! Coincidentally, the same week that John was announcing his wildlife website, I was spending two volunteer days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire as a Wilderness Monitor. What does a Wilderness Monitor do?
Hike to a pre-selected location on a trail accessing one of six Wilderness Areas within the White Mountain National Forest (round-trip hiking distances are between 6 and 12 miles). Observe and record the number of people encountered at a given location for a four-hour period, from 11am to 3pm. Hike back to your car.
On Thursday of last week my dog Jacoby and I monitored the Kate Sleeper Trail. We saw zero people and three bears.
On Friday we visited the peak of North TriPyramid and 16 people passed us by (the photo above was an east-facing picture taken from the top of North TriPyramid).
Each year EMC gives employees 3 days off to become involved in community volunteer activities such as this (for more information see the EMC Gives Back website). I will head back to the White Mountains in August to monitor another trail.
For now it's back to work exploring the new phenomena of Data Value.
As a remembrance however I've included two more pictures below.
The view from Whiteface Mountain in the Sandwich Range Wilderness Area
River Along the Kate Sleeper Trail in the Sandwich Range Wilderness Area.