This page belongs to: Australian Space Agency

Earth observation scientists

Learn about a career as an earth observation scientist.

Earth observation scientists use satellite and other data to monitor the lifecycles of the Earth from above.

Space offers a great vantage point to see what’s happening here on Earth. Information about the meteorological, ecological and seismic conditions on Earth and in our atmosphere can be gathered from space. Earth observation scientists take this information from satellites and interpret it to see how the Earth is changing.

Cameras and human eyes are limited. Space technology has the advantage of being able to detect things like waveforms and temperature changes. Earth observation scientists put the right measurements and data together to create scientific reports.

Earth observation scientists combine data science skills with their knowledge in earth sciences like geography, oceanography and meteorology. Sometimes they use technologies like machine learning used to search for patterns too complex for a human to spot.

Study pathway

Most Earth observation scientists would start by studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in a field such as:

  • earth science
  • geology
  • environmental science
  • meteorology
  • oceanography or marine science
  • geospatial science.

Studies in data science are also helpful.

Almost all universities in Australia offer degrees in relevant areas of science. Visit individual university websites for more information.