Data science of the natural environment: a research roadmap

Blair, Gordon S.; Henrys, Peter; Leeson, Amber; Watkins, John; Eastoe, Emma; Jarvis, Susan; Young, Paul J.. 2019 Data science of the natural environment: a research roadmap. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 7, 121. 14, pp.

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Data science is the science of extracting meaning from potentially complex data. This is a fast moving field, drawing principles and techniques from a number of different disciplinary areas including computer science, statistics and complexity science. Data science is having a profound impact on a number of areas including commerce, health, and smart cities. This paper argues that data science can have an equal if not greater impact in the area of earth and environmental sciences, offering a rich tapestry of new techniques to support both a deeper understanding of the natural environment in all its complexities, as well as the development of well-founded mitigation and adaptation strategies in the face of climate change. The paper argues that data science for the natural environment brings about new challenges for data science, particularly around complexity, spatial and temporal reasoning, and managing uncertainty. The paper also describes a case study in environmental data science which offers up insights into the promise of the area. The paper concludes with a research roadmap highlighting 10 top challenges of environmental data science and also an invitation to become part of an international community working collaboratively on these problems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 2296-665X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: data science, earth and environmental sciences, complex systems, uncertainty, spatial and temporal reasoning
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Data and Information
Date made live: 20 Aug 2019 09:42 +0 (UTC)

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