Earth Lab Science

Earth Lab science projects combine satellite, survey, and field data collected at various spatial and temporal scales to answer critical Earth Science questions and predict change using cutting-edge computational approaches. The volume and variety of these data require innovative approaches to scientific analysis and visualization, supported by the Earth Lab Analytics Hub. Earth Lab science projects are supported by a collaborative and innovative team of post docs, graduate research assistants and undergraduate interns.

Science Projects


Project Fire integrates satellite and field-based data on climate, fuels, land use, and ignition sources with government fire record inventories to determine how humans have changed the spatial and seasonal distribution of fires across the U.S.

Health and Environment

The Health Impacts of Environmental Change project is interested in how global environmental change influences health. We are currently focused on better understanding the health impacts of increased wildfires in western North America. 


Environmentally, what is extreme? What can we do to mitigate their impacts? Our research aims to answer these questions and brings an interdisciplinary, big-data perspective to risk assessment.

Earth Data Science with Drones

Drones are revolutionizing the way natural scientists measure their study systems. Community-based sharing of knowledge and best practices in drone methods paves the way for repeatable science with drones and for making drone research more accessible.

Risk and Decision Making

A changing environment offers risk and opportunity. We study the changing risks of extreme events, damages to the built environment and natural resource systems, and loss of ecological services, and we evaluate potential adaptations that can reduce risk and increase opportunity.


Project Forest integrates unmanned aerial sensing (UAS) data with satellite and other aerial-flight information on beetle-kill and fire, and in situ data on climate and forest structure to better understand the interaction between insect infestations, drought, and fire in Western U.S. forests.

Science Methods & Approaches

We use models, deep learning, cloud-computing, and open science to understand the world around us. See how Earth Lab uses these tools for the betterment of our science.


Surface processes both drive and are driven by how water, sediment, and nutrients cycle through natural and managed systems. Earth Lab seeks to untangle these nonlinear dynamics through technological innovations in observation and advances in numerical modeling of Earth surface dynamics.

Former Projects

Earth Lab science projects that have concluded or moved institutions.