Get to Know the RDS Team: Erin Carrillo

In this series, we introduce the team members who make up Research Data Services (RDS). This interview is with Erin Carrillo, RDS team member and Information Services Librarian at Steenbock Memorial Library.

Describe your role at Steenbock Library.

I’m an information services librarian, so I answer questions, teach library instruction sessions, and am the library liaison to Plant Sciences, Nelson Institute, Zoology,  Botany, Plant Pathology, and Entomology.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on recently?

In November, RDS held a two day data management workshop for graduate student researchers. Participants were from several departments across campus, including Limnology, Entomology, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, Geography, and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and were part of a cohort of graduate students doing research in the area of biodiversity conservation, funded by an NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship grant. We planned the workshop with two graduate students, who saw a need to provide new researchers with the knowledge and skills to navigate the changing research data landscape. The workshop addressed several broad topics within data management, but content was tailored to the specific needs of the group.

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What excites you about supporting research data management on campus?

I’m excited that funders and publishers are increasingly requiring data sharing and open data. There are so many benefits to sharing data to both researchers and the public, such as increasing recognition and visibility, and accelerating discovery. I enjoy advocating for data sharing, and helping researchers make their data available for reuse.

If you had an unlimited budget, what would you institute on campus?

A for-credit data management course that all incoming graduate students are required to take. From funder and publisher requirements for data management plans and data sharing, to the ongoing development of metadata standards and discipline-specific data repositories, researchers need to be aware of trends within their discipline and practice good data management from the outset.

Do you have a favorite UW building or landmark?

I love the Allen Centennial Gardens during the spring and summer. It’s relaxing to sit and watch the koi swim around the pond.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to run, sew, and binge watch tv shows on Netflix. I also recently started taking trapeze classes. My photo shows me running my first Ragnar Relay from Madison to Chicago.

Do you have a question for Erin or the rest of the RDS team? Contact us today.

Get to Know the RDS Team: Luke Bluma

In this series, we introduce the team members who make up Research Data Services (RDS). This interview is with Luke Bluma, RDS team member and Engagement Manager for the Campus Computing Infrastructure (CCI) initiative.

Describe your role with CCI.

I am the Engagement Manager for the Campus Computing Infrastructure (CCI) initiative. CCI is a campus sponsored and governed initiative that delivers shared, scalable, secure IT infrastructure services to campus partners at UW-Madison. Services include: data center management, server hosting, storage and backup. My role is all about building relationships, learning how departments on campus do what they do, and gathering requirements on how shared IT infrastructure services may be able to help them out. My main focus over the last couple of years has been file storage.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on recently?

I recently got to work with a faculty researcher who had some storage needs. He is going to be utilizing the computing resources through the Advanced Computing Initiative (ACI) and needed a place to store the research data after the computations were complete. I was able to meet with him, learn a little about his research, identify his storage needs, and set him up with our scalable, affordable network storage service.

What excites you about supporting research data management on campus?

Luke GolfI love supporting research data management on campus because in the past my role has been mostly focused on administrative data, and while administrative data is critical to our campus it isn’t always as exciting as research data, in my opinion. I love being able to provide the platforms (virtual servers, storage, backup) that allow researchers to innovate. Working for UW-Madison is great, and being able to help support the research we do, in some small way, makes that even better!

If you had an unlimited budget, what would you institute on campus?

Free Babcock ice cream for all! In every building, day or night! (I wish!)

If I had an unlimited budget, I would re-think how we provide IT services on campus. I would work with campus to identify what core IT services should be provided by the University at no cost. This might include things like networking, virtual and physical servers, storage for your group, backup for your data and computers, etc. This would be a tremendous undertaking and would require a huge investment, but it would allow researchers and departments on campus to focus less on IT infrastructure (like running their own server room or storage array) and focus even more on their missions!

In addition to that, since I have an unlimited budget, I would also establish a group that would be available to facilitate access to these services. A group of people that could meet with you in person, learn about your work, identify potential solutions and help you get started. Having free tools is great, but it’s even better when someone is available to show you how to utilize them in the best ways possible.

Do you have a favorite UW building or landmark?

This was a tough question. I’m lucky because in my role I get to roam around campus a lot and see a lot of different buildings. I love the tall buildings because you get some spectacular views of downtown Madison from way up there. However, if I have to pick just one, I’d have to go with the Memorial Union. It gave me so many great memories during my undergraduate years here at UW-Madison – from studying in Der Rathskeller to enjoying a beer on a sunny afternoon at the Terrace. And recently one of my best friends got married there, so the memories just keep adding up!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to golf! However, I should be honest here… while I do love to golf, I’m not very good at it. I was on the golf team in high school because it allowed me to play golf after school for free, not because I was a great golfer. I love being able to get outside on a sunny Sunday afternoon and play 18 holes with some friends, even if I spend a lot of the time in the woods looking for my ball.

Do you have a question for Luke or the rest of the RDS team? Contact us today.

Get to Know the RDS Team: Brianna Marshall

In this series, we introduce the team members who make up Research Data Services (RDS). This interview is with Brianna Marshall, RDS Chair and Digital Curation Coordinator at the General Library System.

Describe your role at the General Library System.

My position is a newly created role meant to explore the library’s role in data services on campus. In a nutshell, I lead Research Data Services and manage UW’s institutional repository, MINDS@UW. A lot of my job is strategizing for the future – where are we now? where do we need to be? – and trying to gather necessary resources.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on recently?

It’s hard to pick just one, especially because one of my favorite parts about my job is how varied my days are! On any given day I will be doing a consultation with a researcher, giving a presentation, or tinkering with the repository. One current project that has captured my attention is a toolkit RDS is developing to pinpoint tools that support research data management. We are still in the prototyping phase but I am incredibly excited about having the chance to really clarify what tools are out there for different aspects of data management.

What excites you about supporting research data management on campus?

brianna_interviewThe University of Wisconsin is one of the top tier research institutions in the country. Being in a position to help support that incredible research is a big deal to me. I’ll be the first to admit that effective data management can quickly become overwhelming, so I love having the chance to say, Here are three small steps you can implement today that will make things better. As a native Wisconsinite, I’m also a proud advocate of the Wisconsin Idea – I know that the research coming out of UW benefits the entire state.

If you had an unlimited budget, what would you institute on campus?

Without a doubt I would invest in a data repository. Understandably, this is a huge financial investment that would need to be driven by campus. In my mind it’s an appropriate middle ground between on our existing repository, MINDS@UW, which is well-suited for publications, and the storage and backup options offered through DoIT. There needs to be an extra layer that allows for critical research data generated at UW to be archived and made discoverable. This will help researchers comply with federal funding mandates and allow UW to remain involved in an important piece of the research process.

Do you have a favorite UW building or landmark?

I’m partial to Science Hall. I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes tour from the building manager when I started my job, and boy is it an interesting place. From the massive topographic maps on each floor to the old anatomy department (where they used to push bodies down a slide located in one of the towers!) to the secret attic, there’s a lot of intrigue there. If I ever write my mystery novel, I think I know the setting!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I make things: I’m a quilter, scrapbooker, and photographer. I enjoy seeking out adventure whenever possible. In the image included in this post I’m at the Apostle Island Ice Caves in my natural state: behind the camera.

Do you have a question for Brianna or the rest of the RDS team? Contact us today.