• Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

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Online Course – 1st Edition

Remote Sensing for Earth Observation

September 7th-11th, 2020




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Course Remote Sensing for Earth ObservationCourse Overview

High-quality data from remote sensing can benefit the study of the Earth system as a tool for acquiring information about the Earth through recording reflected or emitted energy. There are already a myriad variety of satellite sensors that vary in temporal, spatial coverage and resolution. Technology is advancing fast, adding new sensors and applications, as well as powerful and faster methods for image processing that are revolutionising the state-of-art on remote sensing and will become an indispensable tool for geography in the very near-future.

Students will learn the principles of remote sensing systems, and how relevant information can be derived from remotely sensed data over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales and resolutions. Students will also learn about the latest technologies underpinning Earth Observation, and develop image processing skills and learn how remote sensing data can be used to extend our understanding of global environmental changes.

The course will consist of two hours of theory, followed by live worked exercises. Participants will have daily tasks to complete with exercises, estimating that they will do self-study and practice of 3 hours/day.

We will work with Google Earth Engine (Javascript web interface) and R. Course attendants will be asked to register at least one week before the start of the course at: https://earthengine.google.com/. Once you have received an account make sure you can open the Google Earth Engine web interface at https://code.earthengine.google.com/

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to explore the role of remote sensing in monitoring Earth processes and dynamics at a range of spatial and temporal scales, with particular focus on the use of techniques and instruments designed to monitor the global environmental properties of the Earth.


Graduate or postgraduate degree in Life or Earth Sciences.

Knowledge of R and RStudio (including knowledge on writing own codes), and familiarity with GIS (ArcGIS, QGis). Participants are expected to bring a project proposal of remote sensing application to work with during the week.

All participants must have a personal computer with the latest versions of R and RStudio installed, and a good internet connection. Camera and headphones are strongly recommended.

All participants must have a personal computer (Windows, Macintosh), with webcam if possible, and a good internet connection.




This course will be delivered online.

Please check the schedule for the live online part, and be aware that it is GMT+1.


September 7th-11th, 2020




35 hours online.

This course is equivalent to 1 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.


Places are limited to 14 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.

Imma Oliveras instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Imma Oliveras
University of Oxford
United Kingdom


Day 1 – Fundamentals of Remote Sensing

  • Electromagnetic Spectrum.
  • Electromagnetic Radiation Laws
  • Atmospheric Interactions
  • Sensors and Remote Sensing Satellites
  • Basics for image analyses
  • How to obtain earth observation imagery
    • Differences between images (raster data) and polygon (structured)
    • Types of data
    • Sources for downloading data
    • Google Earth Engine

Day 2 – Basic analyses on Remote sensing

  • Working with bands
  • Atmospheric corrections
  • Data visualisation
  • Mosaicking
  • Masking

Day 3 – Analytical methods in Remote Sensing

  • Spectral indices
  • Spectral unmixing
  • Classification
  • Time-series analyses

Day 4 – Advanced methods

  • Working with active sensors
  • Earth observation products
  • Generating images and visualising analyses.

Day 5 – Presentation of student projects, Q&A


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until August 31st, 2020):
  • 420 € *

    (372 € for Ambassador Institutions)

  • Regular (after August 31st, 2020):
  • 526 € *

    (420.8 € for Ambassador Institutions)

  • This includes course material (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.

You can check the list of Ambassador Institutions. If you want your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.com


  • Monday to Friday (GMT+1):
    • 14:00 to 18:30 online live lessons

The rest of the time will be taught with assignments, to be done between the live sessions.


Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the Course Fee. We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact courses@transmittingscience.com).

Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Ambassador Institutions). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Unemployed scientists living in the country were the course will be held, as well as PhD students based in that country without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinator. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.


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