MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Environmental Remote Sensing

Course unit fact file
Unit code GEOG60941
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Geography
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

Remote sensing provides a unique means of capturing vast quantities of spatially referenced data with complete coverage, synoptically and at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Thus, remote sensing is a fundamental tool for use in environmental modelling and in decision-support for environmental management.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to use digital data for reliable thematic and quantitative information extraction. The unit places emphasis on the use of some of the more advanced computer-based techniques used for information extraction from remotely sensed data to support environmental applications. Specifically, we will be using the relatively new online Google Earth Engine Code Editor platform to code remote sensing processing operations in JavaScript.

Pre/co-requisites

None, but absolute beginners should have worked through the CCRS Fundamentals of Remote Sensing online tutorial before starting the course.

Aims

To provide an understanding of the different ways in which remote sensing data can be used to monitor the Earth’s surface. The unit provides a firm foundation in the principles and practice of remote sensing across a range of scales and perspectives.

Learning outcomes

Students should:

  • Have an understanding of key principles in Earth observation (EO), including: spectral signatures, vegetation indices; image classification; image spatial, temporal, spectral and radiometric resolution
  • Develop an awareness of the wide range of remote sensing systems and understand how and why they suit different environmental applications.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, computer labs, exercises, project work, directed and personal reading, web-based tutorials.

Knowledge and understanding

Students should:

  • Understand of key principles in Earth observation (EO), including: spectral signatures, vegetation indices; image classification; image spatial, temporal, spectral and radiometric resolution.
  • Develop an awareness of the wide range of remote sensing systems and understand how and why they suit different environmental applications.

Intellectual skills

Students should:

  • Be able to handle and apply technical concepts in EO and critically evaluate the results.
  • Be able to critically assess and evaluate the suitability of EO satellite derived products for particular applications.
  • Develop research skills including reading, critically judging and evaluating scientific evidence; abstracting and synthesising ideas and information

Practical skills

Students should:

  • Be able to handle remote sensing data from a range of systems using computers and appropriate software
  • Be able to apply key algorithms to interpret remotely sensed imagery
  • Be able to manage raster data and other spatial data files
  • Be able to source appropriate EO images from online image archives

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students should:

  • Be able to communicate and express geospatial ideas and results in written, oral and visual form (e.g. images and graphs)
  • Develop skills of time management and bibliographic research

Assessment methods

100% coursework composed of two computer practical-based reports, Report 1 (40%) and Report 2 (60%).

Feedback methods

Formative feedback to students will take place through in class discussions and summative feedback will be provided as written feedback.

Recommended reading

Core texts:

  • Campbell, J.B. and Wynne , H.R.(2011) Introduction to Remote Sensing. London: Taylor and Francis, 5th edition. [Older editions of Campbell are also useful]
  • Lillesand,T.M. Kiefer,R.W. & Chipman, J.W. (2008) Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation, New York: Wiley International, 6th edition. [ISBN 978-0-470-05245-7]

Other learning materials:

  • Mather, P.M. and Koch, M. (2010) Computer Processing of Remotely Sensed Images, Fourth edition, Wiley, Chichester, Chapters 1 and 2.
  • Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) tutorial: Fundamentals of Remote Sensing.

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geomatics/satellite-imagery-air-photos/satelliteimagery-products/educational-resources/9309

  • Remote Sensing Core Curriculum, http://www.r-s-c-c.org/
  • Jensen, J.R. (2006) Remote Sensing of the Environment: an Earth Resource Perspective. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall 2nd edition. [ISBN 0134897331]

NASA Remote sensing education resources for students, http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/?page_id=2378 e.g Earth Exploration Toolbook

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Practical classes & workshops 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 117

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Angela Harris Unit coordinator

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