Ecological Forecasting Early Career Annual Meeting

Host: EFI Student Association

Date: June 14-15, 2021

Location: Virtual Workshop

Agenda with links to videos and resources from the workshop

This 2-day meeting focused on enabling early career (undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs) scientists to participate in ecological forecasting. The workshop centered around developing collaborations and sharing skills amongst attendees. Specifically, the focus was on enabling early career scientists to participate in the EFI RCN NEON Ecological Forecast Challenge by providing skills-based workshops that teach fundamental and applied skills for forecasting, as well as highlighting forecasts in development by students and early-career researchers for submission to the EFI RCN NEON Ecological Forecast Challenge.

We encouraged all students, postdocs, and early-career agency/non-profit researchers from all demographic backgrounds interested in developing and/or improving forecasting skills to apply to attend the meeting. There were no registration fees.

Specific objectives for the workshop were:

  • Develop forecast-relevant skills through 3 workshops led by early career researchers
  • Create a community within EFI students to foster future collaborations.
  • Share the first forecast challenge submissions in development by students and early-career researchers, with attention to results, methods, and lessons learned through 5 minute flash-talks
  • Brainstorm collaborative projects as a group

EFISA is a part of the grassroots Ecological Forecasting Initiative. If you have questions, please contact Whitney Woelmer (, Dave Klinges (, Millie Chapman (, or Alyssa Willson ( 


  • HERE is a playlist of all the presentations from the meeting.
  • HERE is the EFISA_Workshops_June2021 GitHub repository where you can access all of the code from Day 1 Tutorials.
  • HERE are all the resources from the workshop including presentation slides from Day 1 Tutorials, text transcription of Q&A from PollEv, Go-To Resources, resources that were shared in the chat during the meeting, and breakout session notes. 


[11:00 – 11:30 am EDT]

  • Welcome, Charge, and Logistics, Whitney Woelmer, Virginia Tech,
  • Overview of the Ecological Forecasting Initiative Research Coordination Network and the NEON Ecological Forecast Challenge, Quinn Thomas, Virginia Tech
[11:30 – 12:15 pm EDT]
Session 1: Building Skills in Ecological Forecasting (Part 1)

[12:15-12:30 pm]

[12:30-12:45 pm]
Session 1 Q & A

  • Libby Mohr, Montana State University
  • Ryan McClure, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  • Kathryn Wheeler, Boston University
[12:45-1:30 pm]
Session 1: Building Skills in Ecological Forecasting (Part 2)

[1:30 – 1:50 pm EDT]

[1:50 – 2:05 pm EDT]
Session 1 Q & A

  • Alexey Shiklomanov, NASA
  • Anna Spiers, University of Colorado, Boulder
[2:05 – 2:25 pm EDT]
Session 2: Ecological Forecasting Resources

  • Existing Tools & Educational Resources, Alyssa Willson, University of Notre Dame,
  • Crowdsourcing Additional Resources
[2:25 – 2:30 pm EDT]

  • Wrap-up, Whitney Woelmer, Virginia Tech


[11:00 – 11:10 am EDT]

[11:10 – 11:50 pm EDT]
Session 3: Introduction to NEON Ecological Forecast Challenge Themes

[11:50-12:20 pm]
Session 4: NEON Ecological Forecast Challenge Updates

[12:20-12:40 pm]

[12:40-1:20 pm]
Session 5: Ecological Forecasting Initiative Working Group Updates

[1:20 – 1:30 pm EDT]

[1:30 – 2:25 pm EDT]
Session 6: Future Directions for the Student Association

  • Accomplishments from Year 1, Dave Klinges, University of Florida
  • Breakout Rooms (self-select most interesting theme)
    • Discuss student interests
    • Generate actionable project ideas for EFISA
  • Report backs from Breakout Rooms
[2:25 – 2:30 pm EDT]

  • Wrap-up, Whitney Woelmer, Virginia Tech