Hi, I’m Eric.

I’m a ‘social impact data scientist’.  Academically trained in ecology, computational statistics, complexity science, and network theory. I work with social mission companies, organizations, investors, and philanthropists to use data for good.

Hi, I’m Eric.

I’m a ‘social impact data scientist’.  Academically trained in ecology, computational statistics, complexity science, and network theory. I work with social mission companies, organizations, 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 currently focused the building on an open-source framework for tracking the flows of money to climate mitigation and resilience efforts on the ground. Current partners and collaborators include: The Omidyar Group, Omidyar Network, Cisco Foundation, OneEarth, ClimateWorks Foundation, the Hopper-Dean Foundation, and TED 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’m currently focus on how a decentralized group of funders and doers can collectively tackle complex problems like climate change 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 and education 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 has been 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 a “Data Ecologist” who specializes in not specializing.  Academically trained in ecology and complexity science, and professionally trained in ‘big data’, he is currently the CEO of Vibrant Data Labs – a social impact data science company currently building open-source tools to empower a growing ecosystem of partners that are tackling the climate crisis.

Eric previously co-founded a visual data interface company which was acquired by Rakuten; and was the founding director of the University of California’s first science institute in Yosemite National Park. There he co-led efforts to leverage data and computation for evidence-based ecological conservation.

Eric received a B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a PhD in Community Ecology from Oregon State University. His research on ecological complexity – which includes publications in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – has been recognized among the top 1% most highly cited papers in the field.  He 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 and named an “Agent of Impact” ImpactAlpha.

A recurring theme in Eric’s work is to find simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity.

Dr. Eric L. Berlow is a “Data Ecologist” who specializes in not specializing.  Academically trained in ecology and complexity science, and professionally trained in ‘big data’, he is currently the CEO of Vibrant Data Labs – a social impact data science company currently building open-source tools to empower a growing ecosystem of partners that are tackling the climate crisis. Eric previously co-founded a visual data interface company which was acquired by Rakuten; and was the founding director of the University of California’s first science institute in Yosemite National Park. There he co-led efforts to leverage data and computation for evidence-based ecological conservation. Eric received a B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a PhD in Community Ecology from Oregon State University. His research on ecological complexity – which includes publications in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – has been recognized among the top 1% most highly cited papers in the field.  He 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 and named an “Agent of Impact” ImpactAlpha. A recurring theme in Eric’s work is to find simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity.