Engagement: Dr. Tung's Earth System Science Data Lab: Purdue University Skip to main content


Geoscience Data Science (Geodata Science) Initiatives 

In the US, geoscience curricula are in general not designed to capitalize on the digital revolution, especially the enormous growth in data science.  There has been a disconnect between the jobs of the future and the curricula of the present.  Data science is highly technical and requires rigorous preparation in mathematics, statistics and computing skills. Specifically, in the context of geosciences, data science applied with the goal of improving understanding of causal relations in the physical system also promotes better predictions, therefore risk assessments.

In response to the Purdue campus-wide data-science initiatives and the College of Science strategic plan, Prof. Tung has led the EAPS initiatives to create plans that prepare BS graduates for data-science training as well as develop a geoscience data-science workforce at the MS or Ph.D. levels that can harness the multiscale geospatial-temporal weather, climate, environmental, natural resource, and energy data for decision-support or decision-making in public and private sectors. In the process, the EAPS personnel will engage in campus-wide interdisciplinary data-driven research.

The first outcome of these initiatives is the EAPS MS Concentration of Geodata Science for Professionals, estimated to roll out in Spring 2018.  

Current Courses Offered by Prof. Tung

EAPS 12000 Introduction to Geography (100% Online)

Prof. Tung is one of the four instructors rotating to teach this introduction to the major themes of modern geography. The course is designed to enhance your spatial thinking skills, geographic literacy, and to help you understand the relevance of geographic concepts and how they relate to our changing world. This course will expand your awareness of global issues and provide you with tools to understand how the world around you changes at local, regional, and global scales. Typically offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer.   

By the end of this course, students will:

  1. Be able to interpret geographic data and identify and understand spatial relationships linking humans and the environment.
  2. Be able to use geographic tools introduced in the course (e.g. Google Earth, MapMaster).
  3. Understand how and why people organize themselves and move as a function of economic, social, historical and cultural forces.
  4. Understand how weather and climate are linked to natural and human induced climate change, and links between the atmosphere and biosphere through water and nutrient cycles.
  5. Understand how processes within and on the Earth are reflected in the landscape and how erosion, transport and deposition re-shape landscapes.
  6. Understand the resource concept and be able to make connections between distribution of resources and balancing competing interests.

EAPS 12900 Earth System Dynamics (100% Online)

Formerly offered as EAPS10900 in Fall 2016 and 2017, the online course provides the foundational knowledge and thinking skills to engage concerned citizens in the pursuits of answers to the Earth’s changing climate and environment and their impacts. It introduces how the components within the Earth system—atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biota—interact with each other in response to various forcings that impact the Earth’s climate and environment. The course is designed to enhance learners’ geospatial-temporal thinking skills and geoscience literacy, as well as to help learners analyze some of the ‘what if’ scenarios using the “systems approach”. Typically offered in the Fall or in the Summer. 3 credits.

After participating in online learning activities, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the various sub-systems inside the Earth system and conceptualize how they interact.
  2. Apply facts and concepts about geospatial-temporal phenomena when relevant events arise in real life.
  3. Develop the ability to analyze the Earth system from personal, community to global scales.
  4. Connect available evidence in real life to climate change impacts for decision- and policy-making.

Pre-requisites are: English written communication; Computer word-processor and internet browser and search skills; High-school mathematics and sciences.

EAPS50700 Introduction to Analysis and Computing with Geoscience Data

(Taught with EAPS 50900 Data Analysis Techniques in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) 

The course teaches computing techniques including error analysis, line and surface fitting, interpolation, map projections, geospatial and temporal correlations, signal processing, and visualization with discussions on specific and practical geoscience applications. Lectures with computer exercises and team project reporting using open-source computer software. Typically offered in the Fall to all students meeting the prerequisites. 3 credits.

After completing online reading assignments and participating in the class and team-project activities, students will be able to:

  1. Carry out computational solutions to a given range of geoscience data analysis problems.
  2. Select the appropriate analysis approaches when given a set of data.
  3. Appraise and conclude the analysis results professionally.

Prerequisites: MA26100 (or equivalent) and EAPS31000 (or STAT 30100 or equivalent), or permission of instructor. Students cannot get credit for both EAPS50900 and EAPS50700.

EAPS 51500 Geodata Science

(Offered as EAPS 59100 in Spring 2018)

The course covers a range of topics with applications of mathematical, statistical, numerical, and distributed parallel computing methods for modeling and understanding complex and large spatio-temporal geoscience datasets in the formats common to in-situ observations, asynoptic remote sensing data, volumetric gridded analysis, etc. Typically offered in the Spring. 3 credits.

After completing online reading assignments and participating in the class and team-project activities, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and load into R the relevant data to solve a specific geoscience problem.
  2. Design effective data import, tidying, and transformation procedures using geoscience knowledge.
  3. Determine what and how to plot large geoscience datasets to guide each step in the workflow.
  4. Judge whether model assumptions are reasonable and if the chosen models fit the data using geoscience domain knowledge.
  5. Appraise and conclude the results of a geodata-science project professionally.

Pre-requisites: EAPS507 or EAPS509, or permission of instructor.

EAPS 30900 Computer-Aided Analysis for Geosciences

If you come to check when and if Prof. Tung will teach EAPS 30900 again, please consider taking her EAPS 50700 or EAPS 50900 instead. EAPS 30900 was indeed the prototype of EAPS 50700, EAPS 50900, and even EAPS 51500 Prof. Tung redesigned with the IMPACT program (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation) hosted by Purdue's Center for Instructional Excellence (http://www.purdue.edu/impact/). However, due to the rapidly evolving geodata science initiatives in EAPS, it will be tasked with a different role in the near future. Until then, Prof. Tung will offer data analysis courses at the 500 level.