Environmental Observation and Informatics MS

The Nelson Institute’s Environmental Observation and Informatics (EOI) program is a 15-month professionally focused master of science degree. The program is rooted in the disciplines of environmental conservation, remote sensing and GIS, and informatics. By spanning these disciplines, you will be ready for a career at the intersection of the geospatial and environmental fields.

A Program Built for Your Future

What You Will Learn

  • Digital image analysis and interpretation (e.g. classification, change detection, atmospheric correction)
  • Geospatial data science (e.g. data management, spatial statistics, machine learning algorithms, data visualization and storytelling)
  • Programming (e.g. R, Python, Javascript)
  • Policy and ethics of observational data

Areas of Focus

  • Land use change and urbanization
  • International and sustainable development
  • Forest resources and management
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Wildlife ecology and habitat conservation

Where Can Your Degree Take You?

of our graduates perform geospatial analysis

are employed by private industry

stay in the Midwest

See where our graduates work

Cutting-Edge Curriculum

The 32-credit Environmental Observation and Informatics curriculum provides the expertise that the market demands, focusing specifically on three pillars:

Remote sensing and integrated technology

Modeling and analysis

Innovative leadership

Your Passion, Your Project

Overhead view of several students in a forest during fall closely examining a research sample

We help each student craft a unique and meaningful final project. We explore your background, your professional goals, and your dreams to make the world a better place. Together, we match you with our extensive network of partners around the world.

Learn about the leadership project

What Our Students Say

The View From Above

A blog at the intersection of Earth observation and environmental conservation

Geospatial Skills in a Complex World

Geospatial skills transcend traditional professional boundaries. They can be applied to solving humanitarian challenges as they can to solving biodiversity ...
Screenshot of JavaScript code

Cracking the Code: Harnessing Computer Programming for the Environment

Languages such as Python, JavaScript, and R have become important tools for earth observation ...

Top Podcasts in Earth Observation

Here are a few of our favorite Earth observation podcasts, ranging in topics from more focused remote sensing research topics ...

Read more blog posts

Ready to Apply?

Check out the program requirements and qualifications, view the application timeline, and find tuition information and financial assistance.

Thinking of applying and have an interest in sustainable agriculture and remote sensing? Check out this opportunity to work on a project measuring pasture production with satellite data.

We're Here to Help

Wondering if the Environmental Observation and Informatics program is right for you? Our coordinators are happy to learn more about your background and interests and answer your questions.

Sarah Graves
Program Coordinator

Sarah is the coordinator for the Environmental Observation and Informatics MS program. As the coordinator, she recruits and trains students to become leaders in using observational data to address pressing environmental issues. Sarah advises students and connects them to organizations who actively engage in the development of technologies or application of data.

In addition to working with students and partnering organizations, Sarah engages in research focused on using aerial hyperspectral and LiDAR data for mapping taxonomic species, biomass, and tree growth in forests of the United States and Central and South America.

She is currently supporting an NSF project on generating ecological data from NEON data and a NASA project on evaluating the impact of natural climate solutions for forests in the Guyana Shield. Sarah is also a certified workshop instructor for The Carpentries and helps lead UW-Madison Geospatial Data Carpentry workshops.