Preparing Earth Data Scientists for ‘the sexiest job of the 21st century’

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Steven J Kempler, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
What Exactly do Earth Data Scientists do, and What do They Need to Know, to do It? There is not one simple answer, but there are many complex answers. Data Science, and data analytics, are new and nebulas, and takes on different characteristics depending on: The subject matter being analyzed, the maturity of the research, and whether the employed subject specific analytics is descriptive, diagnostic, discoveritive, predictive, or prescriptive, in nature. In addition, in a, thus far, business driven paradigm shift, university curriculums teaching data analytics pertaining to Earth science have, as a whole, lagged behind, and/or have varied in approach.

This presentation attempts to breakdown and identify the many activities that Earth Data Scientists, as a profession, encounter, as well as provide case studies of specific Earth Data Scientist and data analytics efforts. I will also address the educational preparation, that best equips future Earth Data Scientists, needed to further Earth science heterogeneous data research and applications analysis. The goal of this presentation is to describe the actual need for Earth Data Scientists and the practical skills to perform Earth science data analytics, thus hoping to initiate discussion addressing a baseline set of needed expertise for educating future Earth Data Scientists.