2019 was yet another eventful year!
So, what's new?
I finally got into the R tidyverse!
I cannot imagine doing data wrangling anymore without
do, and all the joins… although, I think my favorite join is the
join_left. My go-to cheat sheet is Data Wrangling with dplyr and tidyr .I also got more into
ggplot2 which I am using almost exclusively, except when I need a fast overview of intermediate results, or if I know that I will be exporting to Inkscape for further pimping of the plot.
I also did my first Shiny app this year!
It was in the beginning of this year, when I was still unemployed, so I had a lot of time I could spend on learning new things. Here is the blog post I wrote about it: My first Shiny app! You can also find there the link to the app.
I started using QGIS (instead of ArcMap)!
I have been postponing this transition for couple of years now, so I’m glad I did it finally. I’m not programming yet, and it feels like this would be the next logical step. I am doing a lot of different raster analysis and some of it could be a bit repetitive. Python will be the next thing I should probably get into, unless I decide to start doing spatial analysis in R as well…
I brushed up on some simple stats and learned some new/old methods!
It’s amazing how we convince ourselves that we know how to do something, just because we know it in principle. An example of this is how I re-learned `log(Y)` transformation and back transformation of the slope (coefficient in front of X) from a linear regression. Linear regressions are so basic, that sometimes we completely overlook the details. It is rare that all assumptions are met when working with our type of data (water quality), so I would gladly stop using it… Personally, I would prefer non-parametric alternatives, just to avoid transforming the data, however the methodological frame was set and agreed before we started looking at the data! I found very helpful the StatNews #83 “Interpreting Coefficients in Regression with Log-Transformed Variables” (June 2012) by Cornell University Statistical Consulting Unit. While we’re on the topic of trends and trend analysis, I would love to get back to experimenting with change-point analysis. Let’s see…
Another new/old thing is that I started doing agreement/disagreement analysis lately, so I learned about Cohen’s kappa. I love how simply written are the old (“classical”) papers! I’ve been enjoying working with Cohen’s (1960) “A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales” paper (according to Google Scholar, it has been cited by 34004 other papers!).
I entered the universe of groundwater vulnerability assessments!
One of the projects I am working on is HOVER (a GeoEra project). I’m involved in two work packages (WP3 and WP7), but as part of WP7, about 10 European Geological Surveying organisations are harmonizing their methodologies with respect to groundwater vulnerability mapping. I had never before worked with any vulnerability framework, so it was quite exciting to learn a bit more about that. The project is exciting also because it is a truly pan-European initiative! I participated at a two-day work meeting in Ireland (in April), so I got the chance to meet in person some of the other researchers. So, in the past 9 months we’ve been developing and testing a modified DRASTIC method (an old, but widely used parameter weighting and rating method)! I don’t want to get into details now, but hopefully next month I will be able to share more… The paper is almost ready!
I became a morning person!
I commute by train between Aalborg and Aarhus almost every day. It takes about 1.5-2 h (one way). This turned me into a morning person. It also made me more disciplined. My traveling schedule is broken broken down to the minute, so I’m glad that even though the trains in Denmark are slow, they still get you on time from A to B. Busses as well! On an average morning I wake up at 5:35 am and go to sleep around 9:30-10:00 pm. I am home after work at 18:45 pm, so during the week there is not much free time left.
I just started Danish lessons again!
I had two lessons already, but most of the hours will be after the end of Jan 2020. I’m looking forward to improving my speaking, reading, and writing skills, so I can increase my chances in getting a permanent contract. I’m also doing my exercises in Duolingo every day, which turned out to be a great learning app. I stopped using twitter and instead I’m spending approximately the same amount of time in Duolingo, doing exercises in Danish.
I am living in the same place as my husband!
It is the biggest and most important change this year! I’m very happy! Our apartment is almost furnished now, but we’re not in a hurry, really… From this month we are also a bit more mobile, because we bought a car. So, life is good! We’re alive, relatively healthy, with well-payed jobs (for now), and enjoy pretty good work-life balance. I only wish for snow, less rain, and blue sky at least once per week!