Background Work#

Based on previous experience, participants gain better access to all of the tools CryoCloud has to offer after they have a preliminary understand of some of the foundational tools of data science workflows. These skills include knowing how to:

  • Navigate a Jupyter Notebook environment

  • Conduct file management, text editing and other basic tasks from a command line interface

  • Add and commit changes in Git, and push and pull content from GitHub

  • Create simple scientific workflows in Python

Software Carpentry Session#

We strongly encourage participants to review this two-day recorded fundamentals of Python and open-source workflows crash course (Software Carpentry Schedule). You may choose whichever topics you’d like to brush up on or learn. Monthly office hours will also provide an opportunity for asking questions and troubleshooting any issues you encounter.

Required setup#


Please make sure to find some time to go through the below material before orientation and getting onto the CryoCloud.

GitHub Account#

Everyone attending the CryoCloud Orientation will need to obtain a GitHub account and request access to join the CryoCloud organization and CryoCloudUser team. Visit our GitHub instruction page to learn how!

Slack Account#

All of our communication about the CryoCloud and any issues will be done using the CryoCloud Slack workspace. With your invite to the CryoCloud, you should also have received a separate email to join the Slack workspace. Upon accepting the invite please take a moment to update your profile picture with a fun picture of your and your info. This will help us more easily identify each other and build community.


We will offer all tutorials within the Jupyter Hub computing environment. Visit our Introduction to Jupyter Hub page to learn more!


All content for the CryoCloud will be shared via GitHub and interacting with the website will be done via the git command. Visit Setting up the git command to learn how to configure that!

EarthData Login#

To download data from NSIDC for your tutorials and projects. Visit our Earthdata page to learn how to access and Earthdata login account if you don’t already have one!

Optional setup#

Google Earth Engine Sign-Up#

The ICESat-2 visualization tutorial will have an interactive component that uses Google Earth Engine (GEE) to query for additional data to help put ICESat-2 data into context. If you would like to follow this part interactively, please visit our Earth Engine page to learn how to sign up, if you haven’t already!


Dive deeper into how Python is managed and installed on the JupyterHub and how you can install that on your personal machine.


Jupyter notebooks are useful, rich media documents stored in a plain text JSON format. This format is relatively easy to parse. However, primitive line-based diff and merge tools do not handle well the logical structure of notebook documents. nbdime, on the other hand, provides “content-aware” diffing and merging of Jupyter notebooks. It understands the structure of notebook documents. Therefore, it can make intelligent decisions when diffing and merging notebooks. Checkout our Nbdime page to learn how to use this versioning tool.