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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Relational Database Workshop

The next workshop in the WGSA Workshop Series, led by Dr. Bryan Nuse, will focus on relational databases. This should be a great workshop for anyone working with large data sets, or looking to develop marketable skills for post-graduation endeavors.

October 14th, at 4:00pm in room 4-517

Brief introduction to relational databases, or How to free yourself from the shackles of Excel

Scientific data are almost always hierarchical in their structure, with distinct attributes applying to two or more levels of organization (e.g., trees within vegetation plots within survey points; visits within years, etc.). It is natural and efficient to store such data as a series of tables within a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS, or just “relational database”). However, I’ve observed that many graduate students submit to the siren song of Excel or ArcMap, using them to store their field data mainly because these programs provide useful interfaces for data entry. When it comes time to actually summarize, manipulate and use the data, however, the shortcomings of Excel become very clear; and the learning curve of ArcMap begins to look rather daunting.

That’s why I believe an introduction to databases early in one’s graduate career can be distinctly useful. If you get in the habit of storing data in a RDBMS, you won’t suffer from Excel Syndrome later on. Having knowledge about how your data will eventually be organized can also help you design your field data collection and data entry workflow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


This Saturday, September 27th, UGA will be playing Tennessee, and what better way to prep to cheer on the Bulldogs than to tailgate with the WGSA? We will be setting up outside of Warnell bright and early at 8:00am as it's a noon game. We'll provide some food, non-alcoholic beverages, coolers and ice. BYOB.

Photo: John Roark Media

In addition, if you bring some shade tents, chairs, lawn games, or pretty much anything that would make this tailgate awesome - you will be handsomely rewarded with a Warnell 14oz. pint glass! Please contact Courtney Brissey (WGSA Treasurer) ahead of time if you plan to volunteer goods or time.

Hope to see you there!


Getting the Dirt on Natural Resources - Miles Ingwers

Miles Ingwers, a PhD student studying tree physiology, discusses his research on natural variation in loblolly pine as it relates to drought tolerance. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shorebird Workshop

If you’ve ever wished you knew a bit more about Georgia’s shorebirds, you’ve got an opportunity without traveling five hours to the coast. During this workshop, we’ll mix it up a bit and instead of learning about new tools, techniques and software, we will have a discussion about ornithology. Rather than focusing on technical aspects of birding, in this Warnell workshop I’ll go over a bit of identification, life history, and talk briefly about how shorebirds are tagged and studied. There will be a lot of pictures, and some tips on how you can help with a few aspects of shorebird conservation. The main purpose is to broaden your horizons, help point out some of the birds you might be sharing the beach with, and show everyone that shorebirds are not that tricky to identify.

Tuesday September 23 at 3:15pm in room 4-517.