transforming environmental data in R

UK CEH has previously run this course internally and we are now offering this to our customers and partners.


Sep/Oct 2020

Please register your interest online now so we can establish feasible locations and fix a date (you will benefit from an Early Bird Discount).


Lancaster or Edinburgh or Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

Once we have decided on the location, we will provide guidance on accommodation near the training venue.


Students £399

Professionals £499

(prices will increase at end of early bird discount period)

The cost includes lunch and refreshments, but no accommodation

Short Course description:

This 2-day course will help you understand the benefits of data transformation tools (such as R). You will learn about aspects such as auditable workflow, repeatability, time-saving, improving efficiency and reduced risk of data loss. You will participate in practical data transformation tool exercises using real environmental datasets to combine and manipulate datasets in different formats from different sources, leading to analysis-ready data. The course also covers cleaning and validation of datasets and best-practice for documentation of scripts and workflows.

Learning outcome:

By the end of the course you will have gained sufficient data transformation skills and knowledge to apply this to your own datasets and projects.

Course objectives:

The course will help you to understand and improve your knowledge and skills on:

  • The benefits of data transformation tools
  • How data transformation tools (DTT) help users meet quality standards
  • How to read in multiple datasets from source in different formats
  • How DTTs can be used to clean and validate data.
  • How to tidy data and get it 'analysis-ready'.
  • Common data transformation operations
  • How to combine and integrate datasets from different sources
  • How to write data to different formats
  • How to combine the use of different DTTs (e.g. R and Python)
  • Data management issues and best practice when working with data

Hardware/ Software requirements:

We strongly encourage you to bring your own laptop, and your own data, so you can practice with relevant data straight away and continue doing so immediately after the training course. We can provide a limited number of desktops/ laptops.

We will explain in the joining instructions how to download and install the software. If you cannot bring your own laptop, don't worry. We can also provide a laptop with software for you.


The cost of accommodation is not included in the course fee.


14-18 places (depending on location)


Beginner – Intermediate (some basic knowledge of R will be an advantage, but not essential)

We are expecting you to have basic data management skills in MS Excel.

Target Audience:

Anyone who is looking to work with data in a reproducible manner and currently works mainly in spreadsheets, or is looking to prepare data for analysis in R.

e.g. MSc /PhD/ early career researchers/ Ecologists / Environmental Scientists / Environmental Consultants

Previous Course participants said:

A great course, well pitched and addressing key and practical issues of data transformation.

really happy, a valuable and useful piece of training.

Course leader:

David Leaver, Environmental Data Scientist  and Informatics Liaison officer, UK CEH

David has a background in Chemistry and Atmospheric Sciences and works with scientists, application developers and data managers to improve data management, dissemination and science capabilities in UKCEH. He has developed tools to organise, transform and analyse data from UK-wide pollutant monitoring, ensuring the quality and traceability of results submitted to stakeholders. David has developed and delivered successful courses in relational databases and data transformation in UKCEH over a number of years.

Please register your interest online now so we can establish feasible locations and fix a date (you will benefit from an Early Bird Discount).