Meet David DuVal, Research Assistant 2016

Hello World! My name is David DuVal and I am a recent graduate of Nipissing University, receiving an Honours BSc in Computer Science. I have been working with Dr Wachowiak since the fall of my final year at Nipissing. In collaboration with IWRC, I have been working on various web-based data visualizations for the high frequency weather and water conditions data collected on Lake Nipissing by the Bays Projects.

My main tasks to date have been related to the maintenance of the existing analytical visualization tools and their evolution (updates coming soon to So far, I’ve worked on making sure that the existing tools are running smoothly and correctly and will start adding a few new features soon too. This involves debugging, testing, and (most importantly!) documenting changes and bugfixes in mostly JavaScript code, but also a little PHP and HTML. These analytical tools could help researchers notice trends or features in their high frequency data that may not be immediately noticeable otherwise. By exploring the data, researchers could find interesting features that could be analyzed further.

Not having a geography or environmental science background, working with IWRC has offered me challenges such as the steep but approachable learning curve that comes with working in tandem and learning the necessary parts of another discipline, then working with new data and visualizing it in the manner that environmental scientists want to. Furthermore, my own skills allow a different outlook on these same visualizations during planning and development phases. As such, I am contributing to IWRC through my background in Computer Science and my ability to quickly learn. It has been a pleasure collaborating with IWRC thus far, and I hope that my continued collaboration will go just as well.