Chapter 1 Welcome

Hello! This is a course taught by Dr. Julie Stewart Lowndes and Dr. Allison Horst at the RStudio Conference: January 27-28 in San Francisco, California.

This course is for Excel users who want to add or integrate R and RStudio into their existing data analysis toolkit. It is a friendly intro to becoming a modern R user, full of tidyverse, RMarkdown, GitHub, collaboration & reproducibility.

This book is written to be used as a reference, to teach, or as self-paced learning. And also, awesomely, it’s created with the same tools and practices we will be talking about: R and RStudio — specifically bookdown — and GitHub. It is being fine-tuned but the most recent version is always available:

This book:
Book GitHub repo:
Accompanying slides: Google Slides

About us

We are environmental scientists who use and teach R in our daily work. We both work at the University of California Santa Barbara, USA.

Julie Lowndes is a Senior Fellow and Director of Openscapes at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.

Allison Horst is a Lecturer of Data Science & Statistics at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. She is also Artist in Residence at RStudio!

1.1 Agenda

Time Day 1 Day 2
9-10:30 Overview, R & RStudio, RMarkdown (JL) Tidying (AH)
11-12:30 Intro to GitHub (JL) Filters & joins (AH)
13:30-15:00 Graphs with ggplot2 (AH) Collaborating & getting help (JL)
15:30-17:00 Pivot Tables & dplyr (JL) Synthesis (AH)

1.2 Prerequisites

Before the training, please do the following (20 minutes). All software is free.

  1. Download and install R and RStudio
  2. Create a GitHub account
  3. Download and install Git
    • Git:
    • Follow your operating system’s normal installation process. Note: you will not see an application called Git listed but if the installation process completed it was likely successful, and we will confirm together
  4. Download workshop data
    • Google Drive folder: r-for-excel-data
    • Save it temporarily somewhere you will remember; we will move it together

1.3 Data citations

We use the following data from the Santa Barbara Coastal Term Ecological Research and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in this workshop: