What Are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available, online learning materials that anyone can use to gain skills and knowledge. We publish data and lessons used in our classes and workshops online on the earthdatascience.org learning portal to allow users around the world to gain and teach technical earth data science skills. For learners, free online lessons lower the barriers to developing new skills, particularly if programs that teach those skills are not available to them. For educators, sharing open resources makes teaching more efficient as they can easily reuse materials and teaching datasets.

Open Education Textbooks, Courses and Lessons At Your Fingertips

Materials on the earth data science learning portal including open online textbooks, full courses, and individual lessons. Learners can work through all lessons on their own time and at their own pace. Lessons cover a suite of topics - a few examples are below:

Learn how to use Jupyter Notebooks to code in Python.
Learn how to get started with version control using git and GitHub.com in this lesson set.
Learn how to use Bash to access and move files and directories in this lesson set.
In this lesson, learn how to work with MACA v2 climate data stored in netcdf 4 format using open source Python and the xarray package.
Learn how to use spectral remote sensing data to better understand fire activity in this lesson set.
Learn how to use lidar raster data in open source Python in thie lesson set.


A sample of lesson content from our open education learning portal earthdatascience.org.

If You Build It, They Don’t Just Come - Search Engine Optimization

Publishing online lessons is not always enough to make them easily found. Our lessons are search-engine optimized to make them easier to find through search engines. Search engine optimization includes adding keywords to headings to ensure visibility in search engines, optimizing metadata for each lesson page and creating content in areas where there are gaps online. To improve the website, we use Google Analytics to assess use of materials and to better understand our audience.


Our earthdatascience.org learning portal sees over 200,000 unique monthly users. This plot shows user base growth from 2018 to 2021.

Project Team

Project Lead

Nathan A. Quarderer

Nate is an educational researcher currently focused on the topics of data science education, and on how people come to know about climate change and why they hold a particular set of beliefs. At Earth Lab, Nate helped organize and implement the Earth Data Science Corps program, leading assessment and evaluation efforts.