Environmental Data Science

NIVA's section for Environmental Data Science is working with the digitalization of environmental research in Norway. We are currently tasked with developing a new and modern data platform including capabilities for delivering future digital services. The goal is to bridge the past, present and future when it comes to how we conduct environmental research and by doing so we strive to help our society become more sustainable by enabling both researchers and other stakeholders to make optimal decisions based on the best available information (data).

Our main task is to support the science sections, ensuring that NIVA gathers, processes and analyses data that are vital for our research. Thus, making sure that the data the scientists use are properly quality assured, stored and secured.

Some of our areas of focus are:

  • New data platform for NIVA
  • Developing new tools for data science – for researchers
  • Portals and user interfaces
  • Access to NIVAs environmental data
  • Project support for data management
  • Data analytics
  • Machine learning and emerging technologies
  • We have a large variety of data in the systems that we manage at NIVA, some dating back almost 40 years. Our task is to ensure that we procure and develop data of sufficient data quality, establish long time series where applicable and develop solid database structures.

In sum our goal is to collect, produce and quality assure data, as well as making data available to others.

The Environmental Data Science team consists of a mix of system developers, software and data engineers, data scientists as well as data managers and DBAs and works through the entire value chain of NIVA.

Open technology

There is a rapid technological development taking place, also driving forward a shift towards systems and solutions developed based on open source/open stack, on open technology and platforms.

In order for us as a research community to work together as seamlessly as possible, we must provide data, interfaces and services to other institutes and research fields, environmental agencies, industry, as well as universities.

We must ensure that all data created in and by NIVA is openly shared, especially towards those who has a stake in it and according to common guiding principles (ref. FAIR). Doing so has an impact and we need to change the way we work and create a foundation for the next generation – both the research community and the general public.

All activities involving basic funds (public research) include requirements for deliverables of data. Environmental Data Science supports and runs both publicly funded projects, projects via the Norwegian Research Council, as well as industry projects and ensure that the right data are submitted to the relevant national databases.

 Some projects we are involved in:

  • FerryBox”: Near-shore and far-shore surveillance program is utilizing vessels trafficking selected shipping lines and is based on sensors installed on board ships sailing along fixed routes. The FerryBox system collects, quality assures, processes, analyses, stores and presents oceanographic and water quality data and combines this with information from with data from environmental satellites and discrete water samples: Ferrybox - ships of opportunity
  • Droning”: Coast-line surveillance program based on application of air drones; fixed-wing as well as quad-copters with various advanced sensory equipment. Objective: mapping of coast-line, advanced image processing, analysis, storage and distribution of data (results), in addition to validation of data in relation to what's on the ground. See recent news article: Researchers use drones to photograph seaweeds: The tidal zone from a bird’s-eye view
  • "MILKYS": Data management and reporting related to the monitoring program for the Norwegian coastal environment run by the Norwegian Environment Agency: Contaminants in coastal waters of Norway 2017

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Satellite images showing the concentration of algae. (Photo: Jan Karud, NIVA)

Last updated 07.02.2023