Meet Our Team: Charlotte Hagelstam-Renshaw

As part of our ongoing staff feature series, we are thrilled to profile one of DataStream’s Data Specialists, Charlotte Hagelstam-Renshaw!

Charlotte has a background in biology with research experience in biogeography. She is passionate about data science, open data and environmental education.

Here is a short Q&A to introduce Charlotte.

Please tell us a bit about yourself

I have always had a love for nature and a strong interest in environmental issues, which ultimately led me to pursue an undergraduate degree and master’s degree in biology at the University of Montreal.

I first developed an interest in data science and the preservation of environmental data while working for a non-profit compiling legacy data on the distribution of Quebec’s aquatic invertebrate species. I pursued this interest during my master’s research project on the evolution of a large family of plants across continents and time, which led me to compile and harmonize large datasets from different open-access databases.

Through these experiences, I became more passionate about the importance of making environmental data accessible through open-access platforms, which is why I’m excited to be working with DataStream!

What motivates you in your work?

I find great motivation in learning from others and finding ways to make environmental information more accessible. I love learning about community-driven initiatives and, by hearing people’s stories, seeing how committed they are to the health of aquatic ecosystems within their communities.

I also appreciate working with people with different backgrounds and areas of expertise as this type of collaboration fosters stronger science and science-based decision making.

What excites you most about your role as Data Specialist?

I’m excited to work with people across provinces and sectors who care about the health of water in their communities. As a Data Specialist, I also appreciate communicating directly with water data stewards. I believe community engagement is invaluable for data to inform environmental policy and conservation.

I hope to contribute to making water quality data more accessible, in a way that fits the needs of DataStream’s diverse community of users and contributors.