MSU ecologists steer adaptation to big data

Feb 13, 2014

Ecologists need to understand multiple systems, regions, and continents. Looking at both small and broad scale systems is made easier with new technological tools.
Credit Flickr - infocux technologies

Big data is being applied across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Businesses are using it to forecast consumers trends, political junkies to predict elections before they happen and scientist are decoding DNA in minutes, working to find cures and prevent disease.

Big data can also tell us a lot about the environment, so much, that it’s shifting the discipline of ecology, creating a new field called macrosystems ecology. Michigan State University professor Patricia Soranno is a pioneer of macrosystems ecology. She says that there is an intersection of exciting changes in science, including satellite images, sensors, and camera traps for studying mammals.