What is this picture?
The Grand Canyon, as seen by a satellite. Click here for full
Why is it shown here?
advertise a course in Geology and Geophysics:
Eye in the Sky: Monitoring the Earth by Satellite
- Fundamentals of satellite imagery applied to the earth sciences.
- Basics of image interpretation.
- Multitemporal data.
- Resolution and uncertainty.
- Existing and emerging technologies.
- Orbits, wavelengths, and satellites.
- Socio-economic impact of remotely-sensed data
How much work is it?
Just two lectures a week for half a semester.
It is an 8-week modular class beginning week 10 of spring semester.
Open to freshmen?
Kurt Feigl, Assoc. Professor
Department of Geology and
How do I register?
School/College: COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCE
Department: (420) GEOLOGY & GEOPHYSICS
Course: (118) Eye in the Sky: Monitoring the Earth by Satellite
Session: ( JGG) 7 WEEK SESSION MON MAR 24 - FRI MAY 9
Time: 9:55 - 10:45
Place: 140 WEEKS HALL
here for official entry in Time Table
Johnston, A. K., and National Air and Space Museum. (2004), Earth from
space : Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, 272 p. pp., Firefly
Books, Buffalo, N.Y. [$34 new; $18 used at Amazon]
Curator at the Smithsonian Institute, Andrew Johnston sheds light on
the planet via an array of beautiful and enlightening satellite images.
The book explains in exquisite detail how such images are utilized by
scientists to learn about the earth's dynamic environment. The
Washington Post named this text one of the best coffee table books of
Wanna see more images?
Click on the web interactive web site for the text book here.
Can you tell me more?
Here are some of the topics we will discuss: Current abilities, future
potential, and limiting factors of satellite imagery. The importance of
“ground truth” before drawing conclusions from remotely-sensed data.
Examples of satellite imagery enabling earth science. How to view,
manipulate, and interpret a satellite image. The global view. Scale and
resolution. Tools of the trade. Interpreting satellite images as
displays of quantitative information. Weather satellites.
Multi-temporal imagery. Digital Elevation Models. Radar Altimetry.
Dynamic Earth. Change detection. Pixel tracking. Radar Interferometry.
Societal, political, and economic impact of satellite imagery.
Why should I take this course? Will it help me get a job?
Many jobs that study the Earth, its environment and anthropogenic
impact on them, use remotely sensed imagery acquired by satellite.
Applications range from scientific (e.g., measuring tectonic plates as
they move) to the practical (“how do I get back to where I parked my
car?”). If you want to apply these techniques (or supervise others to
do so) in tomorrow’s world, you should understand the basic technical
underpinnings of satellite imagery and tools like Google Earth. In
particular, you should learn the limits of each type of imagery as well
as the importance of corroborating “ground-truth” for drawing solid
Don’t other courses teach this stuff?
Yes, but not at the elementary level. The following other courses are
at an advanced ("300") level:
to Remote Sensing
Geology and Geophysics 118 emphasizes the application of
data for monitoring and understanding geophysical processes, whereas
introductory courses in Geography (120, 127, 139, 170) consider the
“historical, cultural, political, and technological contexts of how
maps are made and used”.
- To view examples of satellite imagery enabling earth science
- To view and interpret a satellite image
- To understand the current abilities, future potential, and
limiting factors of satellite imagery
- To recognize the importance of “ground truth” before drawing
conclusions from remotely-sensed data
- To develop critical thinking skills, particularly in spatial
reasoning about satellite data
How will students be evaluated?
- Weekly quizzes (10%
of 1-credit grade)
- One in-class midterm exam, short answers and multiple-choice (30%
- Final exam (60% of grade)
- Eight-week modular course beginning week 10 of Spring Semester,
- Class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:55 to 10:45 AM
- First meeting is planned for 9:55 AM on Tuesday March 25, 2008 in
Room 140 of Weeks Hall
- Street Address is 1215 West Dayton Street
- Final exam is 10:05 to 12:05 A.M. FRI. MAY 16
- Office Hours: Tuesdays 4:00 to 5:00 PM in Room 2261 of
List of Lecture Topics
||Introduction: the global view. Scale and resolution.
||Tools of the trade. Satellites. Wavelength. Orbits.
||Interpreting optical images acquired by satellite
||Living Planet (storms, reefs, coastlines, erosion)
||Weather satellites. Multi-temporal imagery
||Water and Ice (Flooding & tracking sea ice)
||Interpreting radar images acquired by satellite
||Structure of the Land (mountains, folds, faults, craters)
||Digital Elevation Models and Altimetry (Tibetan Plateau, El
||MID-TERM EXAM IN CLASS
||The Human Presence (ozone, pollution, climate change)
||Dynamic Earth (earthquakes, volcanos)
||Monitoring Earth by detecting changes over time
||Societal; political; and economic
impact of satellite imagery.
|FINAL EXAM (code 22)