Big Data in Environmental Science

  • Start Date: 05/11/2015
  • End Date: 05/15/2015

University of British Columbia


The extraordinarily broad field of Environmental Science faces an explosion in the amount of data and in the dimension of records captured. We will bring together methodologists building relevant tools in such areas as Laplace approximation techniques in high-dimensional Gaussian process modeling, stochastic PDE approaches to stochastic prediction and interpolation, state space models for big data, data compression, big data visualization tools, parallel processing and data management tools for statistical analysis, and sparsification techniques, with statisticians and other mathematical scientists working directly with research groups in the environmental sciences. We will let real problems motivate methodological development and at the same time help data analysts understand the developing tools.



Invited participants:

James Balamuta, Illinois

Soutir Banydopadhyay, Lehigh University

Sudipto Banerjee, UCLA

Luke Bornn, SFU

Jonathan Bradley, Missouri

Mike Brauer, UBC

Jenny Bryan, UBC

Peter Craigmile, Ohio State

Marco Ferreira, Virginia Tech

Dorit Hammerling, IMAGE NCAR

Mevin Hooten, Colorado State

Timothy Johnson, University of Michigan

Matthias Katzfuss, Texas A&M

Will Kleiber, Colorado

Bo Li, Illinois

Finn Lindgren, University of Bath

Seagle Liu, UBC

Robert Lund, Clemson

Renjun Ma, New Brunswick

Nathaniel Newlands, Ag/AgFood Canada

Doug Nychka, NCAR

Bruno Sanso, University of California, Santa Cruz

Gavin Shaddick, University of Bath

Andrew Trites, UBC

Hao Zhang, Purdue

James V. Zidek, UBC


A complete program and abstracts for the talks are available here.




Richard Lockhart, SFU 

Peter Guttorp , U Washington  

James V. Zidek, UBC  

Bo Li, U Illinois  

Steve Sain The Climate Corporation

William Kleiber, U Colorado

Charmaine Dean, Western University

Other Information: 

Symposium Venue:

All sessions will occur on the ground floor of the Earth Sciences Building  (ESB); 2207 Main Mall, Vancouver.



Registration for this event is now closed. Particpants can register in person with cash (no credit or debit) on Monday May11th from 8:15am to 9:30am only. Please note receipts will be issued within 48 hours. No refunds will be issued if cancellations are made less than 21 days prior to the conference start date. 

- Faculty: $100CAD

- Students (graduate/ Post-doc): $50 


Accommodation Options

On Campus 

St. John’s College:

Prices vary by room type: Private single rooms: These are basic single rooms with private shower; no coffee maker, bar fridge or TV. Private queen rooms:private washroom with shower, telephone, television, coffee maker, bar fridge and data port (an Ethernet cable is required).  Other College facilities and services are available to guests, including coin-operated laundry and common kitchens. Pay parking is available across the street in the West Parkade. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday, and Continental breakfast basket is provided on Saturday and Sunday. Nightly rate $85-$132CAD. Please book and pay for your stay online at or call the reservation office  at  604.822.6522 or email Please mention the Workshop on Big Data in Envritonmental Sciences when you make your reservation.


Walter H Gage Suites: 

Prices vary by rooms type. Private options include: West Coast Suites, One bedroom suites, studio. Most suites include a telephone, flat panel TV, fully equipped kitchen (for West Coast Suites, One Bedroom and Studios only) and coffee service. Internet is via a LAN/ Ethernet and a cable is required or can be purchased from the front desk.  A complimentary continental breakfast is served daily at the Pacific Spirit Cafeteria. Please book and pay here


Carey Centre: 

Budget priced single,queen, stuios and 1bedroom suites. Some rooms include a telephone,  TV and an equipped kitchen (Internet is via a LAN/ Ethernet and a cable is required or can be purchased from the front desk.  Breakfast is served daily, however breakfast tickets must be purchased ahead of time from the front desk. Please book and pay here



Off Campus

The Listel Hotel:

Located Downtown on Robson Street, Museum One King features: Single or double occupancy; Complementary breakfast (one per room) at the Forage Restaurant; telephone and voice mail; Wifi internet access (included with our Facilities Fee); Coffee makers; Lobby Computer kiosk with printer, Internet access and Microsoft Office applications; Pay-per-view television; Morning newspaper (available upon request), access to the in-house gym; and  a daily wine reception from 5-6pm. Please bear in mind commute times when arriving to UBC campus ($2.75CAD for transit and 20- 30 minute commute time). To book these rooms, please call 1 800 663-5491 or email Nightly Rates vary if booking closer to May 10th date (Bookings done in April begin at $200+). You can also book online with the following discount Promo code: PIMS.



Local Information:

Local Transit: UBC is transit friendly and Bike friendly. Check information on arriving on campus by transit and getting transit tickets here; rent-a-bike to get round campus here.


Taxis: Taxis are available outside Walter H. Gage towers or by phone at 604-861-1111.


Local Weather: Check current conditions here.


Food Outlets and their hours of operations: On Campus; Off campus such as UBC VillagePoint Grey Village and Westbrook village offer an array of restaurants and food outlets.


On Campus ActivitiesUBC recreation and UBC’s top attractions







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