In this series, we introduce the team members who make up Research Data Services (RDS). This interview is with Cameron Cook, RDS team member and Digital Curation Assistant.

Describe your role at RDS.
Posting RDS flyers! Photo by Brianna Marshall.

Posting RDS flyers! Photo by Brianna Marshall.

I do a little bit of everything! My main focus is outreach and marketing, that’s what I started with as a practicum student for RDS. So, I write blog posts, help upkeep the website, I am one of the tweet-ers for the RDS twitter account, I design our fliers, I produce the monthly digest, etc. My position has evolved with RDS and it is now a large part of my part time job as Brianna’s Digital Curation Assistant. So now I also get to help with DMP feedback, prepare for consults, sit in on researcher consults, help Brianna present to students, make education materials – you name it, I probably help with it in some way!

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on recently?

My job varies so much that it’s hard to pick just one interesting project. However, I’d have to say the most fun I had on a recent project was creating my research data comics! It’s probably my favorite marketing project so far. I also hope that the comics are an easy inlet to data management, a way to catch the eye of those who might otherwise may find it intimidating or uninteresting.

What excites you about supporting research data management on campus?

I believe that creating, making accessible, and sharing is how we move forward. Research data management is a key foundation for making those things possible. I also like how challenging and messy the field is, it’s fun to be learning and trying new things and be part of a continuing conversation. Helping researchers create stronger, reproducible research is awesome!

If you had an unlimited budget, what would you institute on campus?

Expanding our data management education as far as possible – including in-classroom education for students starting with undergraduates. Some might not agree with that, but I wish I had understood the importance of data management as a student – before I lost a good chunk of my undergraduate work. The research and academic worlds are moving quickly towards openness and increased reproducibility. I deeply believe in investing in our future researchers now. I believe in planting the seeds of care and management of your work and research early on. I would also just love more workshops and time spent in the campus community!

Do you have a favorite UW building or landmark?

I have a few.  I love seeing the ants in the microbiology building. I think Moore Hall is gorgeous in the Fall. Finally, as a SLIS student, the SLIS library has a pretty sweet view of the lake!

What do you like to do outside of work?
Drosera x Watari, Cephalotus Follicularis, Dionaea typical.

Drosera x Watari, Cephalotus Follicularis, Dionaea typical.

A lot of things, but I’ll just name one here. I’m a novice carnivorous plant grower! I have a small collection that includes a small cephalotus follicularis, pitcher plant, butterworts, bladderworts, a flytrap, etc. However, sundews are my absolute favorite, I have around 7 different species so far.  Also, I just had to include a photo showing off a few specimens in my collection, of course.