Introduction to Earth Science and Informatics

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course aims to introduce students to the exploration and analysis of open datasets to address major questions in earth and climate sciences. Students will become familiar with accessing and working with geospatial and time series datasets and model outputs that are widely used in geoscience research for academic, government, and commercial applications in Norway and internationally. Students will be introduced to the use of geographical information systems (GIS) and scripting languages for accessing, visualisation and analysis of geoscience data and model outputs, using examples for fields such as plate tectonics, global climate, earth surface processes, and geohazards. Students will learn how to communicate quantitatively about large and complex datasets and how to combine these.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, the student will be able to:


  • Describe key open datasets and model putputs used in the geosciences and be familiar with how to access and visualise these resources.
  • Explain basic data analysis methods used in the geosciences and understand examples of their applications.


  • Make basic used of geographical information systems (GIS) and scripting languages in understanding geiscience problems
  • Communicate quantitatively about geoscience problems using datasets and midel outputs with differing temporal and spatial scales.

General competence

  • Understand how open data and quantitative methods are used in ghe geosciences.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Teaching and learning methods
This course involves large and small group discussions, collaborative learning, and computerbased practical exercises. Students are required to engage with online learning materials in preparation for each class. The classroom teaching is in a three-hour block each week for one semester. In some weeks there will be excursions local to Bergen.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Participation in all teaching activities and submission of all practical assignments.
Forms of Assessment
Portfolio avaluation. The student will submit a set of three practical assignments that form the assessment material for this course.
Grading Scale
Examination Support Material