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DIDAg 2018 - Organizing Committee

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Cynthia Parr
Cynthia Parr - Cynthia is a program manager at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland. She leads the Ag Data Commons research data catalog and repository and works on public access and open data policy for USDA. Previously she served as the Chief Scientist and Director for Species Pages for the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. She recently concluded three years as Chair for the Biodiversity Information Standards organization (Taxonomic Database Working Group, TDWG). She has conducted research in evolutionary ecology, ornithology, behavior, molecular systematics, community ecology, information visualization, semantic web, and social networks.


Carol Barford
Carol L. Barford - Carol is an Associate Scientist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her work centers on agriculture, food security, environmental quality, and related risks. Before joining UW, Barford completed a B.A. in Biology and M.S. in Ecology at Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and post-doc in Atmospheric Chemistry at Harvard University. Barford has developed a broad understanding of data quality and data sharing during her checkered career.



Erica Johns
Erica M. Johns - Erica is the Research Data and Environmental Sciences Librarian at Albert R. Mann Library at Cornell University. She serves as the liaison to the Cornell departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Natural Resources, and Fiber Science and Apparel Design. Erica is a consultant for the Research Data Management Services Group (RDMSG) at Cornell. Her interests include data curation, data citation, data discovery, metadata, the semantic web, information architecture, scientific computing, reproducible research, information and data literacy within the environmental sciences and textile arts, and slow fashion. Erica has a B.S.in Agriculture from the University of Georgia and a M.S. in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee. Erica has spent time working for NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the National Climatic Data Center.


James MacDonald
James MacDonald - Jim is Chief of the Structure, Technology, and Productivity branch of the USDA Economic Research Service. The branch's work focuses on four topics. One is the measurement and analysis of agricultural productivity. Second, the branch focuses on the economics of scientific research, and the development of new biological and physical technologies, for use in agriculture. It analyzes the application of new and existing production practices, management systems, and technologies on farms. Finally, it studies the changing organization and structure of farms and the farm sector. The branch also bears major responsibility for the annual Agricultural Research Management Survey, USDA's primary source of data and farm and farm household finances and field-level production practices. Jim's area of specialization lies in industrial organization, with a focus on empirical research on the topics of competition, firm organization, innovation, and industry consolidation. In this position, he has sought to apply that focus to U.S. agriculture, with work on consolidation of agricultural production, competition in markets for agricultural commodities, the use of contracts in agriculture, and the organization of farms.


Eli Moore
Eli Moore - Eli is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy fellow working at the USDA - Agricultural Research Service on enhancing data intensive research within the USDA. Previously Eli was a postdoctoral research associate at Rutgers University working with Paul Falkowski on understanding the coevolution of the geosphere and biosphere. He is particularly interested in Earth surface redox state on the availability of crucial metallocofactors and the evolution of metabolic pathways in the Archean Eon. Through this work Dr. Moore and colleagues have constructed a primitive network of biological electron transfer which gave rise to the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) and the evolution of specialized multicellular organisms. He is now building data resources to link this network of electron transfer to protein structure evolution in deep time and in modern environments. Eli’s past work focused on tracking the longevity of algal proteins in the water column and sediments as part of the greater carbon and nitrogen cycles, and discovering new membrane lipid structures using high resolution mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).


Mary Ochs
Mary Ochs - Mary is the Director of the Albert R. Mann Library, which is noted worldwide for its strong collections and services in agriculture and life sciences. Mann Library has provided leadership in enhancing access to agriculture and life sciences information through a number of special digital initiatives, including USDA Economics, Statistics and Management Information System, Core Historical Literature of Agriculture, CUGIR (Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository), and TEEAL and AGORA, two programs which provide access to agricultural journals for researchers in the developing world. Ochs has her M.L.I.S from Syracuse University and B.S. from Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


Megan Sheffield
Megan Sheffield - Megan is a research librarian at Clemson University. She has Masters degrees in both library science and biology, and her liaison areas cover the entirety of Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences. She is also the data services librarian, and works closely with the Office of Research Compliance to assist researchers with issues regarding the management, preservation, and sharing of their research data.



Dan Arthur
Dan K. Arthur - Dan is the Data Manager and IT Specialist for the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.  He is currently, among his many other USDA-ARS projects, serving as co-chair of the Information Management Task Force for the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network, currently 18 sites (combined USDA-ARS and NGOs) around the US investigating sustainable intensification of agriculture in the production, environment, and rural prosperity domains.  Previously, he worked on the Critical Zone Observatory project, as Data Manager for the Susquehanna Shale Hills CZO managed from Penn State University, and as chair of the CZO Network Data Management group.  Dan has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Indiana University, an M.S. in Information and Communication Sciences from Ball State University, and an M.S. in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University.