February 6 & 7, 2024 | Santa Barbara, CA

Hosted by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Environmental Data Science (EDS) is a growing field of interdisciplinary approaches to investigating and answering environmental questions with modern data science tools. The field is broad, diverse, and expanding. This Summit aims to bring together all types of environmental data scientists to lay the foundation for a more cohesive and collaborative transdisciplinary community.

The goals of the Summit are to build community and foster collaboration within the Environmental Data Science community. This year’s theme is Communicating and Translating environmental data.


Applications are closed.

Participation is limited to 100 attendees, with an application required. We are able to provide funding for up to 60 participants. Funding will cover travel to Santa Barbara, lodging, and the Summit registration fee. In order to attend you must first apply. Applications will be used both to select participation and award funding.

Participant attendance is not limited by sector, discipline, background, or career stage. If you use data to ask questions about our environment and how we interact with it, this Summit is for you!


February 6

8:15 Registration
Check in at the lobby of the Cabrillo Pavilion
8:30 Breakfast, Get to Know & Welcome
Please be on time to enjoy a light continental breakfast to start the day and get to know your tablemates through discussion prompts
9:15 Keynote 1 (Scott St. George)
Observations of the future: What the insurance and risk management industries are working to understand about our changing environment
9:45 Keynote 2 (Somayeh Dodge)
Maps in Motion: Visual Knowledge Discovery in Movement Ecology
10:15 Coffee break
10:35 Instructions for the day (Ben Halpern)

Ideation Session

Facilitated brainstorming to lay the groundwork for small group working sessions


  • What are you interested in learning, building or planning during the Summit, over the next month and/or over the next year related to communicating and translating environmental data?

  • What is a challenge or barrier that you see in how environmental data are communicated or translated, and what is a new or different approach that we need to take to address that challenge?


Poster & Flash Talk Prep

In your group, create a minimalist poster that communicates your idea and prep a 1 minute flash talk.  Each group has 1 minute to present their idea to the group.
During lunch, everyone explore the posters and think about what they want to work on.

12:30 Lunch
Provided on site - multiple options for dietary restrictions
1:30 Instructions and Next Steps (Ben Halpern)
1:35 Flash Talks
2:30 Voting
Review posters and place voting dots
2:45 Coffee Break
3:00 Breakout group work
4:50 Day 1 Wrap Up (Ben Halpern)
5:00 Sunset cocktail hour
6:00 Fajita Dinner
Multiple options available for dietary restrictions

February 7

8:30 Breakfast
9:00 Welcome to Day 2 (Ben Halpern)
9:05 Keynote 3 (Clinton Johnson)
Toward an Equitable and Just Geography
9:35 Keynote 4 (Jamal Watkins)
Where You Live Matters: How place and data reveal truths about racialized outcomes
10:15 Coffee Break
10:30 Breakout group work
12:15 Lunch
Provided on site - multiple options for dietary restrictions
1:15 Continued breakout group work
3:15 Coffee Break
3:30 Group Presentations
4:30 Closing (Ben Halpern)

Location & Lodging

The Summit will take place at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion, situated adjacent to the beach.

The Mar Monte Hyatt Hotel is directly across the street from the Pavilion and will be the most convenient hotel for attendees. There are additional hotels within walking distance from the Pavilion.

Event Parking

If you are not staying at the Mar Monte Hotel, there is ample parking in city parking lots next to the Cabrillo Pavilion. Parking at these waterfront lots costs $3.00/hour or $18 for the day. There is free parking within a short walking distance along Cabrillo boulevard, near the East Beach volleyball courts and near Dwight Murphy Field

Steering Committee

Ben Halpern | Elizabeth Wolkovich | Noam Ross | Amanda Whitmire | Susan Shingledecker | Dawn Wright | Dorris Scott | Leah Wasser

A Research Coordination Network, hosted by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and funded by the National Science Foundation.

Sign up to receive information about the Summit