Charuleka Varadharajan leads Berkeley Lab’s new program in Earth AI & Data

January 3, 2022

BIDS Research Affiliate Charuleka Varadharajan leads Berkeley Lab’s new program in Earth AI & Data

Launched in December 2021 as part of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area (EESA), the new program will work across both Climate and Ecosystems Sciences and Energy Geosciences Divisions to focus on research that makes use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data sciences, and data management to advance state-of-the-art Earth science observations, modeling and theory. The program will cover diverse activities that include data-driven and hybrid ML-physics models; data mining and statistical analysis; technologies for data archiving, reuse, processing, synthesis and visualization; autonomous observations enabled by sensors, edge computing, 5G and wireless networking; and co-design of models and observations. 

Earth scientists Bhavna Arora and Charuleka Varadharajan team up with Computational scientists Julianne Mueller, Deb Agarwal and Reetik Sahu to build deep learning models to predict groundwater levels in California wells.BIDS Research Affiliate Deb Agarwal will also participate in various collaborations in the program, including the U.S. Department of Energy ESS-DIVE data repository and the Ameriflux data system

“The Earth sciences generate highly diverse data from long-term monitoring networks, remote sensing satellites and drones, integrated field observatories, lab experiments and model simulations. This new program was initiated in recognition that data sciences has huge potential to transform climate, energy, and environmental sciences, and enable impactful solutions for important societal problems,“ says Varadharajan. “Our current plans include topic areas of AI/ML, enhanced next generation observations, data management services and cyberinfrastructure. We would like to build interdisciplinary teams that bring together researchers from our Earth science domains with computational scientists, mathematicians, and engineers to advance our capabilities”

The scope and activities of this new program will continue to evolve in 2022, and collaborations with the BIDS community are welcome.  Please contact Charuleka Varadharajan ( with questions or proposals for collaboration.

Featured Fellows

Charuleka Varadharajan

Earth and Environmental Sciences, LBNL
Research Affiliate

Deb Agarwal

Computational Research Division, LBNL
Research Affiliate