This week UNM students, staff, faculty and members of the public can learn how to analyze the role of money in state politics from national trainers.

The National Institute of Money in State Politics will be on-campus this week hosting a free seminar. Participants can learn how to use the Institute’s pilot ''Anomaly Detection'' tool, which uses statistical and artificial intelligence algorithms to spot inconsistencies in campaign finance data that is outside historical norms. The training will also cover how to use the Institute’s "My Legislature'' tool with New Mexico's 2017 legislative committees and bill feeds to track specific legislation, exposing how donors overlap with policy proposals and lawmakers.

The training will emphasize use of these tools for investigative reporting, but the training is open to all who are interested. Staff from the College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences Research Data Services program will also provide information on services that they offer.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit National Institute on Money in State Politics promotes an accountable democracy by compiling comprehensive campaign-donor, lobbyist and other information from government disclosure agencies nationwide and making it freely available online.

Trainings are funded by the Thornburg Foundation. Sponsors include New Mexico In Depth, Society of Professional Journalists – Rio Grande Chapter, National Institute on Money in State Politics, UNM Department of Communication & Journalism and UNM College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences.

The training is free, but registration is required. Trainers will be at UNM’s Zimmerman Library Thursday, Feb. 2 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. In addition to the session held at UNM, two other sessions will be held in New Mexico. One will be in Santa Fe on Feb. 2 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. and the other will be in Las Cruces on Feb. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Click here to register.