User:Kaitlyn Ballou

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Kaitlyn J Ballou

Marquette Data Science REU Summer 2023

Mentor: Dr. Walt Bailkowski

Quantifying Produce Waste at Regional Food Hubs & Evaluating Community Garden Potential to Provide Charitable Produce at Scale

Week 1 (05/30/2023 - 06/02/2023)

Tuesday, May 30th:

  • Attended Data Science REU orientation (1 hr).
  • Emailed Mentor during lunch to set up a time to meet the next day regarding the start of our project.
  • Received and read preliminary, contextual reading (.5 hr).
  • Wrote out initial project thoughts, directions, and questions for mentor based on reading (3 hrs).

Contextual Reading Summary: Empowering Those Who Seek to End Hunger through Collaboration and Innovation by Ko, et al.

An application developed by Marquette students was developed as an indexing solution for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin (FAEW)'s storage facilities based on what is in storage, how long it's been there, and if it's available to be moved. These metrics were made available to the end user to scale at any given time utilizing a web application. This technology assisted FAEW in providing fresh food to food pantries at a faster rate.

Total Hours: 4.5

Wednesday, May 31st:

  • Attended a presentation on good research practices, took notes on slides (1 hr).
  • Attended my first mentor meeting; introductions, evaluation of initial thoughts, assessing problems with one of FAEW's staff, directly, took notes (1.5 hrs).

Learning Notes:

Enterprise operations (P2) may or may not need an Open API, which is a means for software to be integrated on and scaled to multiple devices for ease of use, or portability.

  • In expressing my interest in community gardens as a potential project implementation, I was given additional resources from Dr. Bialkowski, and Casey Hoff (staff from FAEW), which prompted me to draft a literature review of existing vacant lot to community garden programs that exist throughout Milwaukee (8 hrs). While this was an improvised paper; discussion on Thursday and Friday made clear that my personal interest in serving the Milwaukee community by developing a publicly available map tool that advertises these gardens (regardless of affiliation) for those who may not know they exist, have access to their own, or have access to local food pantry can also be used to test methods to establish better communication between FAEW storage and pantries as well as pantries and consumers relevant to the movement of product between these spaces.

Total Hours: 10.5

Thursday, June 1st:

  • Continuing my work on assignments provided by Dr. Bialkowski, including reading from "Business Intelligence Guidebook" by Rick Sherman to explore the process I am to follow with regard to producing my final deliverables, and develop a project roadmap (4 hrs).
  • Project roadmap developed on a google sheets file based on existing deadlines for the REU program (2.5 hrs).
  • Attended a second mentor meeting (1.5 hrs) to narrow the scope of my project, settling on a project in two parts that may satisfy the interest of all parties:

Applying Aspects of Resource Mapping to Storage Operations

Part 1: Community Garden Analysis & Resource Mapping (Garden Scoping).

Part 2: Analytics solution that can be picked up to manage all communicative operations aspects (public tool to be utilized by businesses alike)...To be titled.

  • Prepared a one page project proposal that detailed a means to relate Garden Scoping to operations management for FAEW (2 hrs).

Total Hours: 10

Friday, June 2nd:

  • Edited my one page proposal before mentor meeting (.5 hr).
  • Developed a project Gantt Chart using bullet points that were proposed during the previous day's meeting (4 hrs).

Learning Notes:

Google Charts via JSFiddle was used to code a visual representation for a Gantt Chart through html and Java Script.

Dr. Bialkowski's definition of Data Science: Comp sci, math, and personal expertise.

In my case: Comp sci, math, and environmental studies.

Environmental Studies (for reference): The application of environmental problems to multiple disciplines, including engineering, health, society, economics, and policy.

  • Attended a third mentor meeting (.75 hr) discussing work done thus far, edits to be made, and a revised project scope:

Applying Aspects of Resource Mapping to Storage Operations

Exhibit A: Community Garden Literature Review (including comparison to national averages and Buffalo, NY programs with a focus on vacant lot restoration)

Exhibit B: Community Garden Analysis & Resource Mapping (Garden Scoping).

Exhibit C: Analytics solution that can be picked up to manage all communicative operations aspects (public tool to be utilized by businesses alike)...To be titled.

  • Completed cursory searches for existing mapped garden locations (.5 hr). Findings included maps for gardens hosted by various companies, but were not supporting listings from programs focused on in my MKE lit review. Additionally, there is a group in Los Angeles, California that has looked into the same project I would like to complete for MKE; that is, mapping all active community gardens on a single, publicly available database.
  • Completed this week's wiki logs (3 hrs).

Total Hours: 8.75

Week's Total Hours: 33.75

Week 2 (06/05/2023 - 06/09/2023)

Monday, June 5th:

  • Attended Research Conduct training & took notes (6 hrs).
  • Edited lit review (2 hrs).

Total Hours: 8

Tuesday, June 6th:

  • Attended a meeting with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin's head staff (1.5 hrs).
  • Revised project scope based on specific issues that have been expressed by FAEW:

Exhibit A: Assisting FAEW in quantifying and managing produce waste that can be adjusted for a larger scope (Quantifying Produce Waste for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin).

Exhibit B: Community Garden Literature Review (including comparison to national averages and Buffalo, NY programs with a focus on vacant lot restoration & the potential of these programs to relieve food banks of produce stores)

Exhibit C: Community Garden Analysis & Resource Mapping (Garden Scoping, includes FAEW locations for co-referencing).

Learning Notes:

The difference between a food bank and food pantry is a difference in scale and purpose. A bank is a wholesale operation to hold donations that will be released to pantries. Pantries are like retail stores, that distribute food to in need individuals.

Speaking to my part in today's meeting, I have learned a valuable lesson in being less forward with my thoughts. I am a consultant, and if my ideas happen to cross paths with our collaborators, great! I'm certain I can tie community gardens into their operations through collaboration or replacement for distributed produce. However, their operations issue with delayed distribution comes first, and is paramount in their collaborative status. This begins with putting a number to generated waste, which will in turn assist their food bank in donation acceptance decisions in the future.

  • Completed wiki logs for Monday and Tuesday (1 hr).

Total Hours: 2.5

Wednesday, June 7th:

  • Attended lecture on powerpoint and research writing skills (.75 hr).
  • Collected links to relevant data regarding community garden demographics (1.5 hrs).

Total Hours: 2.25

Thursday. June 8th:

  • Updated one page project proposal before mentor meeting (1 hr).
  • Attended mentor meeting, updating project scope and project proposal (Executive Summary, .75 hr):

Aim 1: Quantify the amount of produce wasted by FAEW using data integration and management.

Aim 2: Compare historic produce output between FAEW and community gardens.

Aim 3: Visualizing community gardens regardless of affiliation.

  • Updated Executive Summary for FAEW's reference to be sent by Friday, June 9th (2 hrs).
  • Completed wiki logs for Wednesday and Thursday (.5 hr)

Total Hours: 4.25

Friday, June 9th

  • Evening spent in correspondence between my mentor and I regarding the format of my executive summary, to be emailed to FAEW the next morning (3 hrs).

Total Hours: 3

Week's Total Hours: 20

Week 3 (06/12/2023 - 06/16/2023)

Monday, June 12th

-Project break, N/A-

Tuesday, June 13th

  • Edited Wiki page & added project summary page (2 hrs)

Total Hours: 2

Wednesday, June 14th

  • Reformatted literature review to include comparative information regarding community garden programs in Buffalo, New York. Also added sections on produce output as to relate the paper back to FAEW work (5 hrs).

Total Hours: 5

Thursday, June 15th

  • Began a powerpoint draft for June 28th presentation (2 hrs)
  • Edited Wiki page (.5 hr)

Total Hours: 2.5

Friday, June 16th

  • FAEW meeting to request inbound & outbound data (.75 hr)

Total Hours: 0.75

Week's Total Hours: 10.25

Week 4 (06/19/2023 - 06/23/2023)

Monday, June 19th

  • R re-introduction meeting (1 hr).
  • R re-introduction practice @ 2/3 tasks- (.5 hr).
  • Powerpoint outline re-work (9 sentences, .25 hr).

Total Hours: 1.75

Tuesday, June 20th

  • Mentor meeting to discuss progress with R re-introduction & collaborate on powerpoint outline (1 hr).
  • Began outlining data management plan for FAEW (1 hr).

Total Hours: 2

Wednesday, June 21st

  • Mentor meeting to discuss data management outline and set a finite deadline for powerpoint outline (June 23rd, 1 hr).
  • Developing my powerpoint outline (3 hrs).

Total Hours: 4

Thursday, June 22nd

  • Completed powerpoint draft 1 (2 hrs).

Total Hours: 2

Friday, June 23rd

  • Feedback for powerpoint draft came on Saturday, June 24th, and I had worked on that for a few hours with back and forth correspondence with my mentor.

Total Hours: 3.5

Week's Total Hours: 13.25

Week 5 (06/26/2023 - 06/30/2023)

Monday, June 26th

  • Met with mentor and Jeff of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin to receive feedback on powerpoint thus far (1 hr). Made note of re-writes.
  • Re-wrote powerpoint to reflect additional changes and recommendations offered by mentor and Jeff (2 hrs).

Total Hours: 3

Tuesday, June 27th

  • Met with mentor in the afternoon to present powerpoint draft as practice, receiving notes of final edits (.5 hr).
  • Made final edits to powerpoint (1 hr).

Total Hours: 1.5

Wednesday, June 28th

  • Attended REU cohort presentations, presented my own last (3 hrs).

Total Hours: 3

Thursday, June 29th

  • Edited wiki page (1 hr).
  • Edited lit review to reflect consistent MLA citations (2hrs).

Total Hours: 3

Friday, June 30th

  • Edited wiki page (.25 hr).
  • Submitted peer review notes for powerpoint presentations thus far (1 hr).

Total Hours: 1.25

Week's Total Hours: 11.75

Week 6 (06/03/2023 - 06/07/2023)

Monday, July 3rd

-Project break, N/A-

Tuesday, July 4th

-Project break, N/A-

Wednesday, July 5th

  • Attended the second round of mini presentations for the cohort (1.5 hrs).
  • Created an excel sheet to quantify community garden produce output for Buffalo, New York & Milwaukee, Wisconsin using publicly available information on bed size and average produce output per square foot (3 hrs).

Total Hours: 4.5

Thursday, July 6th

  • Applied findings from the previous day's excel sheet to lit review, edited lit review format to MLA for consistency (3 hrs).
  • Updated analytic plan to manage FAEW data (1 hr).

Total Hours: 4

Friday, July 7th

  • Progress report mentor meeting (0.5 hr).

Total Hours: 0.5 Week's Total Hours: 9

Week 7 (06/10/2023 - 06/14/2023)

Monday, July 10th

  • Attended a mentor meeting for data management set up (1 hr).

Total Hours: 1

Tuesday, July 11th

-Project break, N/A-

Wednesday, July 12th

  • Attended a mentor meeting with a guest who may or may not be able to provide a visual to some of Milwaukee's vacant lots. Permission needed (.75 hr).
  • Attended a talk regarding data ethics (1 hr).
  • FAEW data management session in R (2 hrs).

Total Hours: 3.75

Thursday, July 13th

  • FAEW data management session in R (3 hrs).
  • Lit review edits (1 hr).

Total Hours: 4

Friday, July 14th

  • FAEW data management session in R (3 hrs).

Total Hours: 3 Week's Total Hours: 11.75

Week 8 (06/17/2023 - 06/21/2023)

Monday, July 17th

-Mentor busy, was unable to request assistance with data management-

  • Context: Over the weekend (hours counted for last Friday), I worked on FAEW data management, and got stuck with creating a specific table that isolates values of date and weight for each file.

Tuesday, July 18th

-Mentor busy, was unable to request assistance with data management, I was also sick today-

Wednesday, July 19th

  • Due to illness, I requested today's cohort meeting notes from a roommate. Read for 0.5 hr.

Total Hours: 0.5

Thursday, July 20th

-Mentor busy, was unable to request assistance with data management-

Friday, July 21st

  • Held a meeting with FAEW to discuss progress on my work thus far, including the results of my mini presentation, and data management progress. I was allowed to stay on the call to listen in on unrelated work the organization was working on, exposing me to the average cooperate meeting (2 hrs).
  • Afternoon progress report meeting with mentor to discuss my work moving forward, including what I'll be doing over the weekend to prepare for Monday's mentor meeting (0.5 hr).

Total Hours: 2.5 hrs

Weekend Work

  • FAEW data management session in R; total hours: 5
  • Edited wiki page (0.75 hr).

Week's Total Hours: 9.5

Week 9 (06/24/2023 - 06/28/2023)

Monday, July 24th

  • Attended mentor meeting (1.25 hrs).
  • FAEW data management session in R (1.5 hrs).

Total Hours: 2.75

Tuesday, July 25th

  • Attended mentor meeting (.5 hr).
  • FAEW data management session in R (3 hrs).
  • Poster draft (1.5 hrs).

Total Hours: 5

Wednesday, July 26th

-Project break, N/A-

Thursday, July 27th

  • Poster Draft (5.5 hrs).

Total Hours: 5.5

Friday, July 28th

  • Poster Draft (1 hr), submitted.

Total Hours: 1

Week's Total Hours: 14.25

Week 10 (06/31/2023 - 07/04/2023)

Monday, July 31st

  • FAEW data management session in R (2 hrs).
  • Final presentation prep (2 hrs).
  • Edited wiki page (.5 hr).

Total Hours: 4.5

Tuesday, August 1st

  • Final presentation prep (1 hr), submitted.

Total Hours: 1

Wednesday, August 2nd

-Project Break, N/A-

Thursday, August 3rd

  • Attended final presentation meeting, presented findings (4 hrs).
  • Edited Lit Review (final report, 4 hrs).
  • Edited wiki page (.25 hr)

Total Hours: 8.25

Friday, August 4th

  • Attended poster session (2 hrs).
  • FAEW data management session in R (2 hrs).

Total Hours: 4

Week's Total Hours: 17.75

NOTE: Final summary submitted to FAEW on September 14th, 2023. Additional work includes a literature review that may or may not be submitted to a scientific journal (dependent on allotted time).