Deputy Director & Vice President for Research


Using open data science tools: a summer series

WHOI's Ocean Informatics initiative is sponsoring a summer series, "Using open data science tools," starting with a discussion of a recent paper and culminating in a hands-on GitHub workshop co-sponsored by WHOI IS. Attend one, more, or come for the whole series:

June 8, 3:30-4:30pm, MRF Conf. Room, paper discussion: Lowndes et al. (2017) Our path to better science in less time using open data science tools. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1, 0160, doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0160;

June 13, 2:00-3:00pm, Redfield 204, “Introduction to R” (led by Environmental Data Initiative);

June 20, 2:00-3:00pm, Redfield 204, “Introduction to code versioning and collaboration using GitHub” (led by Environmental Data Initiative);

June 21, 3:30-5:00pm, Clark 507, hands-on Git and GitHub workshop led by Joe Futrelle (Information Systems Specialist in IS) and co-sponsored by WHOI IS AppDevTeam. Registration is required for the workshop:

Please bring your laptop. For more information: contact Stace Beaulieu, x3536 (

What is Informatics?

Informatics can be described as the science and technologies that transform data into information and knowledge. Informatics is more than computer science or information technology. It refers to the structures, behavior and interactions of systems that store, process, and communicate information. Examples of domain-specific informatics include: Bioinformatics, Biodiversity informatics, Geoinformatics, and Social informatics. The science and technologies of Ocean informatics are now emerging, with many examples shown here in the Projects tab on this webpage.

Ocean Informatics at WHOI

WHOI's Ocean Informatics initiative has 5 main goals in 2017:
Goal 1: Help WHOI staff and students adopt informatics practices and technologies
Goal 2: Become aware of broader community efforts and external opportunities that may lead to new funding
Goal 3: Strengthen connections to expertise within WHOI and our local science community
Goal 4: Help with data and software life cycle management and publishing
Goal 5: Promote WHOI as a leader in expertise on Ocean Informatics

Phase 2 of Ocean Informatics at WHOI began in 2013 with the "Coping with Your Data Workshop" (see Events page). The Ocean Informatics Advisory Group currently consists of Stace Beaulieu (coordinator of the group, in Biology Dept.), Danie Kinkade (Biology), Joe Futrelle (AOPE), and Lisa Raymond (Co-Director MBLWHOI Library). Please feel free to contact any member of the group with questions. You may also email or join the data-mongers email list (, the WHOI Software Mailing List (, or the bioinformatics email list ( Also, please contact us if you are interested in joining the Advisory Group.

Phase 1 was active from 2009-2013, led by a 4-person Ocean Informatics Working Group. This Working Group recommended a strategy and an action plan to build a robust data informatics infrastructure at WHOI. Thanks to a modest budget provided by the WHOI directorate alongside synergistic staff resources provided by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), the group achieved its initial core mission of initiating and expanding a basic Ocean Informatics infrastructure at WHOI. The group and partners brought in external support, established new collaborations, and produced a suite of software tools along with other accomplishments detailed in a final report (see Phase 1 page).

Last updated: June 7, 2017