Allison Horst

Assistant Teaching Professor

Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

Hi everyone, I’m Allison! I’m an Assistant Teaching Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara, where I teach primarily in our Master of Environmental Data Science program. My classes include Essential Math for Environmental Data Science, Scientific Programming Essentials, and the MEDS Capstone course to facilitate student progress on their 6-month group capstone project as a faculty advisor.

I actively work to contribute to open educational resources, including software for data science education (e.g. the palmerpenguins R dataset package), and artwork for data science & stats teachers and learners. From 2019 - 2020 I was RStudio’s first Artist-in-Residence. You can read more about my motivation in that role in this blog post, and you can find some of my R- and stats-related artwork in this repo.


  • Teaching
  • Environmental science
  • Statistics
  • Data analysis
  • Science communication
  • Art


  • PhD in Environmental Science and Management, 2012

    Bren School, UC Santa Barbara

  • MS in Mechanical Engineering, 2007

    UC Santa Barbara

  • BS in Chemical Engineering, 2005

    UC Santa Barbara

Recent Posts

Tidy data for reproducibility, efficiency, and collaboration (originally published on the Openscapes blog)

A collaborative visual post describing the benefits of working with tidy data

Learning GitHub Classroom

Merge conflicts: helping data science students merge their advanced skills into existing teams

This post was written collaboratively by Jacqueline Nolis and me. Original data science language icons artwork (above) by Jacqueline …

Penguin wrangling in dplyr - a learnr tutorial

An art-filled learnr tutorial introducing some useful data wrangling functions in dplyr (part of the tidyverse)

palmerpenguins on CRAN

The palmerpenguins data package provides a wonderful alternative to the iris data

Recent workshops and talks

Missing the point - missing values, misinterpretations, and missed opportunities in environmental data science.

Invited plenary talk for the Urban Drainage Modeling Conference, hybrid remote and at SCCWRP. Abstract - Getting my hands on new, raw …

R Markdown for fun, functional and reproducible reporting

A 1-hour code-along workshop on R Markdown for reproducible data science and reporting for the 2022 Urban Drainage Modeling Conference, …

Tips & tools for gentle R introductions

An invited talk on strategies for introducing beginners to R for UCSB’s Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences program.

Creative Contributions and Activities for Student Engagement and Learning in Data Science Education

An invited talk for the Developing and Maintaining Open Source Resources for Statistics and Data Science Education Session, JSM 2021.

Skills & Interests


Environmental data analysis

Teaching & education


Art & design

Science communication


Teddy dog