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Online course

Big Data and the Environment

From sources such as satellites, sensors and social media, how can environmental data analytics benefit business and research?

Big Data and the Environment

Use current examples to explore the potential benefits of environmental big data

From weather fluctuations to the spread of an invasive species, what problems can scientists address by analysing these vast data collections? What are the potential benefits for business, research and our daily lives?

Find out about possible career paths and gain insights from industry experts and research scientists working on a range of current projects. From urban planning to monitoring wildlife, explore the complexities of managing and analysing big data to seek innovative solutions.

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What topics will you cover?

Week 1: Introduction to big data

  • Sources of big data, including satellites for looking at the surface of the Earth

  • Environmental analytics and the link to big data

  • Computing power, processing and storage for environmental data

Week 2: Data to Discovery

  • Open data

  • The challenges of working with data

  • The skills and knowledge of a data scientist

Week 3: Big and Small Data

  • Citizen science for climate simulation and ecology

  • Real-life examples of environmental analytics

  • Visualising data

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced
Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explain the characteristics and identify sources of big data
  • Explore applications of data in environmental science for business
  • Understand the skills necessary to be a data scientist
  • Discuss the importance of open data and participate in citizen science

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at professionals seeking a better understanding of environmental big data and the potential these offer to address key questions and underpin novel solutions for business.

It is also relevant to anyone studying environmental topics with a general interest in big data analytics and the complexities and issues surrounding the collection, curation and application of these vast data sets.

Who will you learn with?

Jon Blower

Chief Technology Officer at the Institute for Environmental Analytics. We help all kinds of people to understand and make the most of environmental data!

Richard Lamb

I am Knowledge Exchange Manager with the Institute for Environmental Analytics and a research fellow with the Satellite Applications Catapult.

Who developed the course?

The University of Reading has a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and enterprise.

A world-leading applied Research and Development organisation, helping customers who understand the opportunities of environmental data analytics to manage risk and improve business.


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Join this course


  • Access to this course for 5 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes


  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime
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