ENV 603a () / 2023-2024

Environmental Data Visualization for Communication

Credits: 3
Fall 2023: Tu,Th, 9:00-10:20, Sage 32

Application Instructions: 
Application for YSE603, Fall 2023
Environmental Data Visualization for Communication

Instructors: Simon Queenborough & Jenn Marlon
TFs: Audrey Smith
Tues and Thurs 9.00-10.20 am   |    3 credits
This is a combination lecture and hands-on course designed to explore principles of visual communication and apply them to the design and construction of effective graphics. Students will build skills in working with data, programming in R, and data visualization using a variety of tools and methods (DataWrapper, Tableau, Google Sheets, etc). No prior experience with R is required.
There is a strong emphasis on active participation through learning new skills, helping others acquire skills and troubleshoot problems, and critiquing other’s work. Effective graphics are informed by design principles and more complex displays are improved through an iterative process that requires dialog, feedback, and testing.
Enrollment in the class is limited to 20 students. We will meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 10:20am. There will be weekly assignments and a final project that will be developed throughout the course, and there will be ample support offered through regular office hours.
To apply for this course, please provide short answers to the following questions. This will allow us to tailor the course more closely to your needs. Please email your responses to jennifer.marlon@yale.eduand simon.queenborough@yale.eduno later than 5:00 pm EST on Monday, August 28th. Thank you!
You will be notified by Close of Business (COB) on Friday, Sept 1st.
1)      Degree and expected graduation year
2)      Why are you interested in taking this class?
3)      What is your area of interest/research?
4)      Have you recently taken any classes that required you to explore or analyze data, such as statistics, GIS courses, etc.? If so, please list them.
5)      Do you have an existing project or dataset in mind that you would like to explore and visualize? If so, please describe it and state whether you already have access to the data, or not yet. (This is not required – you will have the opportunity to explore existing datasets.)
6)      What previous experience do you have, if any, with communication and/or design?

Welcome to the Information Age! It is now much easier to generate and access more data than ever before. Yet, our ability to manage, analyze, understand, and communicate all this data is extremely limited. Visualization is a powerful means of enhancing our abilities to learn from data and to communicate results to others, especially when informed by insights into human behavior and social systems. Developing the quantitative skills necessary for analyzing data is important, but for addressing complex and often urgent environmental problems that involve diverse audiences – understanding how to effectively communicate with data is equally essential for researchers, policymakers, and the public alike.This course is for students who wish to gain an understanding of the principles, tools, and techniques needed to communicate effectively with data. Classes will consist of short lectures about principles of design, data preparation, and visual communication, discussions about examples from the news and scientific literature, guest lectures, peer critiques, and hands-on individual and collaborative group activities. Throughout the semester, we will use Excel, PowerPoint, R, Tableau, and other tools to develop visualizations using diverse datasets. Students will also work with a dataset of their own choice or from a partner organization to develop a final project consisting of a poster, infographic, report, dashboard, story map, or related product. Enrollment is limited and application is required.

Limited to 20