Meet the experts: Mark Laufersweiler

OU Libraries is an active member of the Carpentries, a global community of volunteer instructors who teach foundational coding and data science skills to researchers. Mark Laufersweiler, research data specialist at OU Libraries, is a Carpentries certified instructor, trainer, and mentor. He serves as the OU representative for the Carpentries Foundation membership and a volunteer for the CarpentryCon planning task force.
As a task force member, Laufersweiler assisted with planning CarpentryCon 2018 held May 30 through June 1 at the O'Brien Centre for Science, University College in Dublin, Ireland. He shares his experience helping organize this international conference and the impact for OU.

Researchers, scientists, and librarians met in Dublin for CarpentryCon 2018, the primary annual gathering for the Carpentries instructors and member organizations to share knowledge, network, and develop new skills and strategies for building strong local communities.
“The theme of the conference is ‘Building Locally, Connecting Globally,’” said Mark Laufersweiler, research data specialist at OU Libraries. “As a member of the planning task force, I worked on much of the logistics and planning with other members of the task force and Carpentries staff to host the event. I also chaired a lightning talk session, lead a skills workshop on tips and tricks using the command shell, and acted as a facilitator for the Library Carpentry Governance and Onboarding workshop.”
Laufersweiler said the primary benefits of participation include “community building, improving teaching and instructions skills, improving the curriculum, and the chance to interact with many of the instructors from around the globe who until this time, where meeting via conference and video conferencing calls.”
Here at OU Libraries, the Carpentries curriculum is part of our research services which include workshops for OU researchers and students to improve their computing skills to help with research tasks.
“The Carpentries help build strong research data management practices for researchers,” said Laufersweiler. “Instructors also help improve the curriculum used in instruction and contribute to a global peer-network committed to providing high-quality instruction.”
As an outcome of our participation, the Library Carpentry division of the Carpentries organization plans to offer professional development opportunities for OU Libraries Carpentries instructors as well as assist OU Libraries in helping extend this training to other libraries in the state. 

View the OU Libraries 2018-19 Software and Data Carpentry Workshop Schedule

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