Women in science / STEM
I feel influenced by the lack of female role models in senior positions, both in academia and in industry. A better representation of women in important (academic) positions is important to increase confidence of female scientists and to show that gender is not a barrier to career progression. I understand that people with other minority identities face similar challenges. I am passionate about contributing to equality, diversity, and inclusion in STEM. Ultimately, I hope to be able to inspire others and become a role model for fellow peers. Below, I highlight some resources I have found inspiring and/or helpful:
Fix the Leaky Pipeline (ETH Zürich program)
Fix the Leaky Pipeline is a programme at ETH Zurich giving young female scientists the opportunity to reflect on their professional situations, to develop a strategy for continuing their career paths, to receive targeted further training, and to extend their personal and scientific networks.
Did this really happen!?
Venus Science networks
VExAG is NASA’s community-based forum designed to provide useful resources to the community and input for planning and prioritizing the exploration of Venus over the next several decades. Open to all interested scientists, VExAG regularly evaluates Venus exploration goals, scientific objectives, investigations, and critical measurement requirements. I am currently serving a 3-year term on its Steering Committee and will soon lead a working group on Venus resources and data transparency.
The primary goal of this group is to support early career Venus researchers with networking opportunities, professional development through colloquiums and gatherings, and to foster community feeling. There is a OVEN mailing list and a slack channel that are very useful to join!
European Geoscience Union
EGU offers a platform for early career scientists (ECS) to become involved in research, outreach, skills development, and networking. One such way is to join the Early Career Scientist outreach team (blog/social media) or to become an Early Career Scientist Representative of a specific division.
The aim of the Planetary & Solar System Sciences (PS) Division is the promotion of all fields of planetary sciences, ground-based and space mission exploration of the solar system and beyond, and related models.
Visualization is, together with problem description, data production, and data post-processing, one of the main supporting pillars of science.
Scientific colour maps
Unfortunately, colour maps that visually distort data through uneven colour gradients and/or are unreadable to those with colour-vision deﬁciency remain prevalent in science (such as rainbow colour maps #endrainbow). It is extremely important to choose a scientific colour map that correctly visualizes your data and to use scientific figures that are intuitive and easy to interpret. I am a huge fan of the official scientific colourmaps 7.0 by Fabio Crameri. The colour gradients in these colour maps are perceptually uniform and ordered to represent data both fairly and intuitively. Moreover, they are readable both by colour-vision-deficient and colour-blind people, and even when printed in black&white.
Science Graphics Collection (S-ink)
You can find numerous effective, high-quality science graphics in the Science Graphics Collection s-Ink.org. This collection consists of eye-catching, science-proof scientific-style artwork readily available to both the science community and the general public. You can also contribute to the collection by submitting your own graphic and receive the appropriate credits!
Top: Map of the topography of Venus made with GMT. Used in Gülcher et al. (2020, Nature Geoscience). Bottom: Google Venus FMAP map: compilation of the Magellan SAR imagery at 100 m resolution, which has been assembled into a global overlay image (to load in Google Earth).
Software and tools
Generic Mapping Tools (GMT)
The Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) is a widely used tool to process geospatial and geophysical data, generate beautiful illustrations (especially maps), automate workflows, and make animations. It is free, open-source software! There is also a very convenient Python interface called pyGMT. It is definitely worth checking out if you are interested in creating maps from geospatial data!
StagLab is a MATLAB post-processing tool that provides easily-accessible and fully automated geodynamic diagnostics and scientific visualisation of output data from geodynamic models (i.e. StagYY). Particularly the results and figures in Gülcher et al. (2020, G-cubed) were developed with StagLab. Especially the automatic detection of plumes, slabs, “stagnant” domains, and thermochemical piles is useful for analysis (see e.g., this STAGLAB-OS release on Github)
Interactive mantle convection visualisation
Much of our understanding of the geodynamics and geology of Venus has been derived from radar imagery and topography from the Magellan mission (NASA 1989-1994). These data were archived at the Planetary Data System (PDS) and are easily and freely available. In an effort to promote public interest in Venus, scientists have created content for Google Earth that displays several types of information from the Magellan-era: Google Venus (Sandwell et al., 2015). This allows anyone to easily explore Venus!