Democratizing Access and Lower Barriers to Teaching and Learning Earth and Environmental Data Science

  • Diversity & Persistence in STEM: We make data skills more accessible to diverse audiences with the broader goal of increasing persistence in STEM of women and Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). 
    • We publish all learning materials online as open educational resources (OER) on the website which democratizes access to earth data science content. Anyone with internet access can use these materials to learn new skills.
    • We work with students and faculty at Tribal Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and other schools supporting groups historically underrepresented in STEM.
  • Blended Teaching & Learning: We teach using a blended online and in-person approach which allows anyone, in any location, to participate in our training. Blended classrooms also allow students to choose how they participate based on their learning preferences.
  • Evaluation and Assessment: We use evaluation and assessment to understand best practices for teaching and learning, to assess program effectiveness and to improve our program over time.
  • Open Source Software Tools for Education: We maintain and contribute to  tools that make learning and teaching earth data science easier.

Five Learning Goals for Earth Data Science: 


EDS Skills chart
  1. Technical earth data science skills
  2. Use different types of data
  3. Understanding the application of data science to science challenges
  4. Interdisciplinary communication skills
  5. Large team science collaboration skills


Project Lead

Our classes and workshops have an interdisciplinary mix of undergraduate, graduate, and returning professional students who participate in active, collaborative synchronous and asynchronous learning through options for in-person or online courses. This variety in available participation modes supports students by addressing geographic and time constraints that might otherwise limit their access to formal education in earth data science.

Project Lead

We contribute to the larger field of earth and environmental data science education by studying best practices for online and in person data-intensive teaching and learning. We focus on reaching diverse audiences, including working professionals with families, students at schools serving communities historically underrepresented in STEM and first generation college students.

Project Lead

Earth data science education should be open and available to anyone. The learning portal has free and open lessons, textbooks and courses used by over 200,000 people each month across the world that allow anyone to learn and teach earth data science skills.

Project Lead

We maintain free and open tools that support teaching and learning earth data science. Our tools include EarthPy which makes it easier to download data and work with spatial data, as well as Abc-Classroom and Matplotcheck which support teaching and autograding. We also maintain a custom, tested Python conda environment which is used to support all of our teaching and online lessons.

Project Lead

Elsa Culler

Earth Lab, NC CASC

As the availability and volume of earth data continues to grow, and science and industry become increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary, there is a growing need for professionals with a combination of hard and soft skills. Backed by market research, our programs focus on five learning areas: data science workflows, domain science knowledge, knowledge of varying data types, scientific communication and collaboration. These skills prepare our students for success.

Project Lead

The Earth Lab Education Team is committed to leading, promoting and facilitating earth data science education for groups historically underrepresented in STEM. Promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is not only fair, it improves the quality of science. We do this through a combination of workshops, training, capacity building with faculty and developing open curriculum and tools that anyone can use in their courses. We also collect data and conduct research to assess the effectiveness of our approaches. We currently lead two projects that explicitly focus on equitable access to earth data science skills: the Earth Data Science Corps and pyOpenSci.

Featured Blogs

Team Members