PaleoCore Data Management Workshop 

Nairobi Kenya 21-23 September 2015

Africa and especially East Africa preserves a phenomenal cultural heritage including a unique history of human origins and past biodiversity recorded in the fossil record. This workshop brings together museum personnel and researchers from African natural history museums to discuss the use of data standards, database technologies and mobile data collection platforms for recording and managing natural history collections. The workshop covers fundamental topics in digital data management and introduces users to the PaleoCore online data repository and data collection system. Technical solutions presented during this workshop will focus on the use of free open-source software (FOSS). The aim of this workshop is to share expertise and to expand the network of African data management experts. This workshop is organized in conjunction with the Biodiversity Information Standards group (TDWG. http://www.tdwg.org/) and full funding for participants is provided by an NSF cyber-informatics grant for PaleoCore (http://www.paleocore.org). 

Topic Overview

Day 1 - Data Management Concepts and Fundamentals:
Data Management for Paleoanthropology, Data Management Systems, Database Fundamentals, GIS and Spatial Data, Web Applications and Technologies, Semantic Web Fundamentals.

Day 2 - Data Management and Analysis in PaleoCore:
PaleoCore Overview, PaleoCore Basic Ontology and Terms, PaleoCore User Accounts, PaleoCore Project Initialization, Mapping Project Schemas, Downloading Data from PaleoCore, PaleoCore with QGIS and R.

Day 3 - Field Data Collection using Mobile Devices: Mobile Data Collection Hardware, GISPro and Related Apps, Data Collection Workflows, Map Caching, Exporting Data, Uploading Data to PaleoCore. 

Registration

To participate in this training workshop, or if you have any additional questions, send an email to reedd@ausin.utexas.edu, with PaleoCore Workshop Nairobi as the subject. In the body of the email include your full name, organizational affiliation, and role or title in the organization (e.g. student, curator, administrator). It would also be helpful to include a short summary of your scientific interests, and reasons for your interest in the workshop. Space is limited and priority will be given to museum personnel and researchers from countries in sub- Saharan Africa. 

Schedule of Events

Saturday 19 September
Participant arrival from Ethiopia and Tanzania. Meet at the airport when you arrive and travel together to the MMU campus.

Sunday 20 September 
Participant arrival 
Reception dinner for all participants

Monday 21 September
Day 1 of the workshop at the Multimedia University

Tuesday 22 September
Day 2 of the workshop at the Mutlimedia University

Wednesday 23 September
Day 3 of the workshp at Multimedia University
Commencement dinner and presentation of certifications.

Travel and Accommodation

By now, those of your traveling from abroad should have completed all travel arrangements. If you are traveling from outside Kenya and have not yet booked travel arrangements please contact me!  Many of you are arriving into Joseph Kenyatta airport on Saturday 19 September. I will personally meet those of you arriving from Tanzania and Ethiopia at the airport. All your flights are scheduled to arrive around 6:30 PM. We will then go together to the MMU campus. 

All participants will be staying at the MMU campus. Rooms there include meals and this will provide a nice opportunity to work and dine together. Reservations have been made for all participants including local Kenyan participants. Reservations for local participants begin on Sunday evening 20 September, while reservations for others depend on the specific itinerary.  

Finally for those of you traveling from abroad I recommend consulting the Center for Disease Control web page on Kenya to get an assessment of disease risks and travel precautions, http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/kenya.

Orientation Dinner

I am planning an evening orientation dinner on Sunday 20 September. I would greatly appreciate recommendations for restaurants from the local Kenyan participants. The Carnivore restaurant is a popular favorite but I am interested to learn of alternative suggestions. If anyone has meal dietary preferences please let me know.

Workshop Announcements

I plan to cover three main topics: 1) data management principles and fundamentals 2) online and open-source data management with PaleoCore and 3) mobile data collection and data management. I plan to survey all participants to learn more about your experience and interests so that I might better tailor the workshop to the groups needs, but I expect there may be quite a range of experiences and expertise. I hope we all can learn from one another and share our experience.  If there are specific topics that you would like to cover during the training please feel free to contact me with suggestions.