EPA Joins National Consortium for Data Science

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ncdsThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the latest organization to join the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), a public-private partnership to capitalize on the opportunities of big data and advance data science.

The work we do involves capturing and analyzing huge environmental data sets so that the government can make informed policy decisions that protect humans and the environment,” said Ron Hines, Associate Director for Health at the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in Research Triangle Park, N.C. “We have collaborated with the NCDS on some of its initiatives in the past and having a seat at its leadership table will help us connect with leading data researchers, access data resources and infrastructure, and contribute to the development of future NCDS strategies.”

The U.S. EPA, which works with massive amounts of environmental data in its efforts to protect human health and the environment, joins Deloitte, Drexel University, EMC, GE, IBM, MCNC, North Carolina State University, RENCI, RTI International, UNC Charlotte, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Greensboro, and UNC General Administration as NCDS members. As a member, EPA representatives will be able to participate in NCDS events, workshops, and working groups and will collaborate with other consortium members to develop strategies for utilizing big data and advancing data science education.

The NCDS launched in April 2013 as a mechanism to address the challenges and opportunities posed by massive data sets being created by digital medicine, environmental sensors, scientific instruments, social networks, financial transactions, and more. Its goals include: identifying key data science challenges that need to be addressed in a national, multidisciplinary, and multi-sector fashion; encouraging data science research and partnerships that span academia, industry, and government; and facilitating improved data science education and data literacy in the workforce.

Flagship NCDS programs include a Data Fellows program aimed at early career faculty researchers, the annual Data Matters Short Course Series, the DataBytes lunchtime webinar series, and career events that bring together industry members and students interested in data science careers.

The U.S. EPA brings yet another perspective to our efforts to strategically address data science challenges in the business, research and government sectors,” said David Knowles, who leads NCDS initiatives through his role as director of economic development at RENCI. “The EPA has massive amounts of data in many different formats and unlocking its potential will be the key to solving problems related to air and water quality, human health, ecosystem sustainability, climate change, and more. We are privileged to have them as a partner as we work together to glean knowledge from data.”

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