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Natural Soil Salinity… Where can it be found on your site?

This is the question! And the answer is (almost) anywhere!

t-SNE is so last week, all the cool kids are using UMAP now!

Importance of staying on top of trends as a subject matter expert.

I wrote an article discussing the applications of t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE) as an improved technique for dimensionality reduction and cluster association comparable to the overused Principal Component Analysis (PCA)....

Dealing with Varying Results in PAH Quantification

There is an old adage, often referred to as Segal’s Law, that states: “A man with one watch knows what time it is, a man with two is never sure”. I use this a lot for my work when I am presenting. I am often given data where samples get sent to two different laboratories for the same analyses. It is usually done to...

Make sure your investigation has legal chain of custody

It is arson awareness and here is our third blog for arson investigators. One of the most important parts of a successful arson investigation and potential conviction (other than having video or photographic evidence of the arsonist) is the collection of samples and identifying the presence of an ignitable liquid...

BY Court Sandau arson

Don’t let matrix get in your way

We recently discussed the issue of matrix and how the other stuff in your fire debris sample can be problematic for the laboratory in identifying ignitable liquid residue in your evidence samples.

BY Court Sandau arson

Matrix is your enemy – in fire debris collection for arson investigations

This week is arson awareness week.  I have been working on arson investigations and the collection and analysis of fire debris samples for over 10 years. I was brought into the field of work by happenstance, and it has been an amazing experience applying legal and environmental forensic chemistry to the field of...

BY Court Sandau arson

What does the Human Genome, every image on Google and your chemical data set all have in common?

High-dimensional data reduction using Machine Learning can help find the commonalities hidden in big data.

The ability to collect data is constantly exponentially evolving and there has a been a surge in exploring the world of ‘Big Data Analytics’ in environmental forensics. This coupled with the high-throughput...

Tidy Data

As a teenager, I was notorious in my family for having the messiest of rooms. While I preferred to call it “organized chaos” rather than a mess, I cannot deny the amount of time and effort I spent (wasted) when needing to locate something in that chaos. The struggles I had in finding that missing sock, or my essay...

BY Steve Shideler Data Science, Big Data

Building trust in statistical models for environmental data

Models and modelling, I was never a big fan.  I always thought that you could make models say whatever you want them to say.  But, many years later, I have changed my tune, particularly for statistical models.  Used right, models can provide convincing lines of evidence that you have the correct answer to your ...

BY Court Sandau Data Science, machine learning

Knowing vs. Knowledge

GI Joe was wrong!  Knowing is not  half the battle (in environmental work)!  It is barely a tenth of the battle, at best.  There is a lot of confusion in the environmental industry, maybe even misrepresentation of what a company or person is capable of doing and what they are actually qualified to do.  Especially...

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