Hi, I’m Eric.

I’m a ‘social impact data scientist’.  Academically trained in ecology, statistics, and network science; practically trained in the use of ‘big data’ (and revealing its abuse), I work with social mission companies, organizations, corporate initiatives, investors, and philanthropists to use data for good.

Hi, I’m Eric.

I’m a ‘social impact data scientist’.  Academically trained in ecology, statistics, and network Science; practically trained in the use of ‘big data’ (and revealing its abuse), I work with social mission companies, organizations, corporate initiatives, investors, and philanthropists to use data for good.

I’m a Data Scientist

I co-founded a visual data interface company which was acquired by Rakuten in 2016. I now run Vibrant Data Labs, a social impact data science group that uses ecological approaches to synthesizing data. We focus on empowering people to see the big picture and make evidence-based decisions. Partners have included The Omidyar Group, Humanity United, Omidyar Network, TED, Intel Labs, Skoll Global Threats, Shell’s Scenarios team, and Red Bull Human Performance, among others. More…

I’m a Network Scientist

I have been collaborating with ecologists, physicists, and computer scientists since the late 1990’s to understand the architecture and dynamics of complex networks – from food webs to flows of money to friendship ties. Some might say I’m obsessed with finding simplicity in complexity. I currently focus on how a community of independent actors can collectively tackle problems that are bigger than anyone alone can solve. More…

I’m an Ecologist

My academic career started in marine ecology, and migrated to alpine ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada, where I helped build the first University of California research center in Yosemite. In collaboration with park scientists, the USGS, and Microsoft Research, we synthesized satellite, climate, and field data to support conservation of Threatened amphibians. A recurring theme of this research is to leverage data and computation to facilitate evidence-based stewardship of nature. More…

“Swall Institute”

“Swall Institute” is what I affectionately call our home one hour south of Yosemite National Park which overlooks the deepest valley in North America.  At Swall, I host intimate groups of friends and colleagues to facilitate creative work.  At Swall, Sean Gourley and I drafted our 2013 TED talk, and Alex MacDonald finished a book about the economic history of space exploration. Artists at Swall have included acclaimed photojournalist, Kiana Hayeri, mural artist, Jane Kim, mushroom burial suit inventor Jae Rhim Lee, and artist-activist Sarah Sandman (also a creator of the podcast Meditative Story). Meklit Hadero wrote part of her “We Are Alive” album at Swall, and Patrick Cress composed his Yosemite Soundscapes album.  Tap Dancer Andrew Nemr worked on a book about the preservation of vernacular dance, and Jelani Cobb wrote columns for the New Yorker.

 

Dr. Eric L. Berlow is an ecologist, complexity scientist and CEO of Vibrant Data Labs – a social impact data science group. He previously co-founded a visual data interface company which was acquired by Rakuten in 2016 – where he then led data product innovation from the world’s largest e-commerce panel. Eric was the founding director of the University of California’s first science institute in Yosemite National Park, where he co-led efforts to leverage data and computation for evidence-based conservation policy. Eric’s research on ecological complexity – which includes publications in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – has been recognized as being among the top 1% most highly cited papers in the field. He is has been a TED Fellow, TED Senior Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, and a National Science Foundation Fellow; and was listed among the Top 100 Creatives by Origin Magazine. Eric received a B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a PhD in Community Ecology from Oregon State University.

Dr. Eric L. Berlow is an ecologist, complexity scientist and CEO of Vibrant Data Labs – a social impact data science group. He previously co-founded a visual data interface company which was acquired by Rakuten in 2016 – where he then led data product innovation from the world’s largest e-commerce panel. Eric was the founding director of the University of California’s first science institute in Yosemite National Park, where he co-led efforts to leverage data and computation for evidence-based conservation policy. Eric’s research on ecological complexity – which includes publications in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – has been recognized as being among the top 1% most highly cited papers in the field. He is has been a TED Fellow, TED Senior Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, and a National Science Foundation Fellow; and was listed among the Top 100 Creatives by Origin Magazine. Eric received a B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a PhD in Community Ecology from Oregon State University.