Four Reasons to Become an Environmental Statistician Now
April 21, 2016
The environment is the perfect playground for statisticians. The natural world exists upon intricate systems with natural variations that are fraught with uncertainty and randomness. Complex questions arise within all Earth’s systems that need statisticians from diverse disciplines to tackle them. Statisticians provide critical insight about the environment to help make our world a safer place.
Understand Organisms in Ecology
Statisticians in ecology study the relationships between organisms and their environments to predict changes in those relationships. They create models to quantify and explain variability in all areas, from microscopic biological systems to entire ecosystems. A few critical concerns in the world of ecology today are the biodiversity crisis, the effects of pollution, and the potential effects of global climate change on ecosystems. The perspectives that statistical analysis can provide are vital to understanding these issues, as they exist currently, as well as projecting the future.
Predict Climate Change
Climate change study is a statistician’s gold mine unto itself. Earth’s climate is vastly complex, including layers of variables both natural and man-made. Climate scientists must carefully measure and model Earth’s current circumstances before beginning to create future projections. There are tremendous opportunities for statisticians to contribute here. From analyzing current conditions, to spatial analysis, to projecting the future, these are all crucial statistical components to climate research. The work from climate statisticians ultimately educates decision-makers in Washington, who determine how our nation handles the global climate change.
Evaluate Natural Resources
Natural resource statisticians work closely with government and independent organizations to systematically survey and manage natural resources. Organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Ecological Observatory Network depend on the results from statistical surveys. Statisticians provide key insights that inform policies on issues like conservation, alternative energy and resources and climate change.
Improve Pollution Standards
Statisticians who work closely with environmental scientists to regulate pollution standards make meaningful change by improving environmental and human health. Statisticians play a critical role in measuring and analyzing data from the earth’s atmosphere, water and soil systems. The insights learned from statistical methods help develop efficient and safe systems for offsetting the impact of pollution in the environment.
In this year’s Fall Data Challenge, Fight Food Insecurity, 76 teams and 139 students submitted their data visualizations and analyses of the current state of food security across the United States. Students recommended a range of creative potential solutions to help provide relief for food scarcity and insecurity. Their statistical analyses of the dataset allowed…
Students, are you ready for the Fall Data Challenge? Gather your team, the challenge opens this Monday, October 11. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, November 7, at 11:59 PM EST. We’ve just released the dataset, so you can take your first look at it now! Here are the resources to start with: Read the ‘Getting…