February 2023 Newsletter

Researcher Spotlight

Headshot of

Daria Orlowska

My current work focuses on creating easily reusable datasets from our archival collections and teaching students how to curate and manage data. I identify viable collections and train students on the data curation process to create ready-to-use datasets, such as the Lighthouse Log datasets. Our collection of South Haven Lighthouse Logbooks from 1878-1882 now exists as a dataset that researchers can use in their projects, such as examining the historical weather accounts recorded by the lighthouse keeper. Datasets can be used in the classroom as secondary data teaching tools, in addition to their value as primary research sources. I am currently creating lesson templates that utilize the datasets to teach data literacy as part of the Michigan regional history curriculum. I am also incorporating datasets into workshops at the university level to facilitate a more advanced conversation about source evaluation and using spreadsheet managers to prepare data for analysis.

In addition to making collections more accessible to the community, I offer data services to the Western community. Each semester I feature at least three data education workshops on topics such as data management, finding secondary data for projects, using OpenRefine to prepare your data for analysis, and an overview of the human subject research process. My previous workshops are available anytime through the University Libraries Data Education playlist on YouTube, and customized workshops can be requested if you are interested in a lab, departmental or class presentation.  Besides teaching data best practices, I provide guidance on writing data management plans for grant proposals and will review your plan through submission by webform, request by email, or through the DMPTool. I am also available by appointment for personalized consultations, helping you develop solutions to better manage your data, find data for research or a classroom assignment, and curate your dataset for submission to a repository to fulfill funder or publisher requirements. I look forward to working with you!