This vast collection of datasets enables environmental scientists working in the UK and around the world to share scientific data and collaborate on solving societies most pressing issues.
The Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Environmental Data Service (EDS) is responsible for making environmental data accessible to users from science, commerce, government, education and the general public. The range of data held within the EDS covers all aspects of environmental science and is gathered from environmental scientists working in the UK and around the world including from; ships, satellites, Antarctic bases, research aircraft, high performance computing centres, geo-energy observatories and many more. Some EDS centres also hold physical specimens and sample materials, as well as material supplied by third parties.
The EDS enables researchers to investigate key environmental challenges such as climate change, support government policy in areas like conservation of endangered species or managing water quality, as well as supporting infrastructure development and commercial enterprise.
The five NERC data centres formed the EDS in April 2018, with a strong emphasis on working together to increase efficiency and share expertise. The data centres that make up the EDS, and their designated science domains, are:
• British Oceanographic Data Centre (Marine)
• Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (Atmospheric, Earth Observation, and Solar and space physics)
• Environmental Information Data Centre (Terrestrial and freshwater)
• National Geoscience Data Centre (Geoscience)
• UK Polar Data Centre (Polar and cryosphere)
Alongside petabytes of curated data, the EDS has world-leading experts with significant domain experience in data and information management. Staff are experienced in the fields of data preservation, open science and e-infrastructure; gained over many years of managing and delivering data to a diverse range of stakeholders and user communities.
As well as providing access to high quality environmental data, the EDS also supports innovative services such as:
• NERC Vocabulary Server - a globally used resource and service, which gives access to well-maintained controlled vocabularies for the digital capture of ocean data information.
• DataLabs – a collaborative, scalable and dynamic digital research platform that requires only a web browser to access high-powered computer facilities and big data storage in the cloud.
• JASMIN – a globally-unique data analysis facility providing storage and compute to enable environmental science research. This infrastructure hosts some of the EDS data centres – including DataLabs.
NERC is committed to managing its funded data activities for long-term preservation. The EDS provides a common set of services and functions across the different data centres, ensuring NERC funded data is accessible and available for future re-use.