Big Environmental Data

Big Env Data

The Muir Institute is leading the way in collecting, visualizing and modeling big environmental data to provide unprecedented insights into our changing world.  

Elsevier Data Science Scholar 

In February 2018, the Muir Insitute will welcome a new Elsevier Data Science Scholar to our team, who will work to advance cutting-edge data analysis (“Big Data”) techniques as applied to climate change, sustainability and coupled human-environmental systems.  Our Scholar will research the consequences of the widespread transformation of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles including biodiversity declines, water quality and quantity, sustainable (and scalable) energy systems, the efficacy of resource management practices and government policy, coupled social-environmental systems, social networks, and institutional resilience.  

The position is under the campus-wide initiative lead by the Muir Institute to partner with Elsevier, Inc., a global information analytics company, helping advance climate and environmental sustainability science. Elsevier, Inc. is one of the world’s major providers of scientific and information exchange and analytics. Elsevier is providing the Muir Institute with access to their proprietary data and analytics tool — SciVal — which provides insight into research trends, performance metrics and access to data from 8,500 research institutions in 220 nations worldwide. As a hub for environmental research, this tool allows everyone to see the global map and impact of science performed at UC Davis. 

Additional information on the ongoing collaborative efforts by Elsevier and UC Davis can be found here.


The Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (CSTARS), directed by Susan L. Ustin, is one of the strongest environmental remote sensing and geospacial data groups in the United States. With an emphasis on multidisciplinary research.  CSTARS scientists come from many disciplines including Geospatial Information Systems, Ecology, Computer Science, Geography, Applied Mathematics, Civil Engineering, Soils and Biogeochemistry, Atmospheric, and Hydrologic Sciences. 

CSTAR’s research focus is on characterizing ecosystem processes and structure, especially aspects that address impacts of climate and land use changes, environmental sustainability and ecosystem services.  Working at all spatial scales, from the field to the globe, CSTARS utilizes geospatial technologies to acquire, analyze and interpret remotely sensed data. CSTARS mission is to provide leadership in promoting sustainable environments by developing research methods that use applications of core geospatial technologies, their adoption by various environmental sectors, and the training and transfer of these technologies to a diverse user community. 

Additional information on CSTARS can be found here.