The D3 staff blog will periodically profile our staff members, offering a picture of the analysts and other staffers behind Data Driven Detroit. Today, we feature research analyst Nate Barnes.
After completing the undergraduate program in political science at Michigan State University, Nate moved to Detroit to pursue a master’s degree in urban planning from Wayne State University. He got his introduction to D3 when he met senior analyst Erica Raleigh at a Wayne State Students for Urban Planning (WSSUP) welcome event.
“D3 sounded like exactly what I wanted to do,” Nate said, including its goal of “providing support for [data-driven] decision-making that’s not always done, particularly in urban planning, and particular in the Detroit area.”
Nate’s love of data-driven urbanism reflects the wonkish atmosphere around the office. Whenever he travels to a new city, he uses the Census FactFinder to get a more quantitative feel for a place’s character than any travel guidebook can provide.
Like D3, Nate has sought to integrate planners with neighborhoods and communities. As an undergrad at MSU, he spent his senior year interning as a Neighborhood Resource Coordinator, acting as a liaison between the school’s student body and the local community. “We were trying to act not just as students, but as citizens” as well, he said of his work.
When he’s away from data, he spends his time coaching for the soccer program at Del Cristo Rey high school in southwest Detroit.