Introduction to Course

Application of the principles of Remote Sensing to integrate multiple interrelated data to map and analyze variations in spectral indices, magnetic force, electromagnetic energy and other remotely collected data.
Geological remote sensing typically involves mineral spectral indices identification, spectral accentuation, temperature stratification etc. Spectral reflectance of vegetation, soil and water can be mapped and analyzed separately to solve temporal and spatial variation on surficial features

Texts (Required)

Introductory Digital Image Processing – A Remote Sensing Perspective John R. Jensen (3rd ed.)

Texts (not required)

1. Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation – Lillesand/Kiefer (2004)
2. Remote Sensing and GIS for Site Characterization – Singhroy et al (1995)
3. Remote Sensing for GIS Managers – Aronoff (2005)
4. Introduction to Remote Sensing – Campbell (2002)
5. A Guide to Remote Sensing: Interpreting Images of the Earth – Drury (1998)
6. Remote Sensing: Principles and Interpretations – Freeman (1996)
7. Principles and Application of Imaging Radar – Henderson/Lewis (1998)


GEOL 412 or GEOG 455/655 or consent of instructor

Attendance and Performance Policy

Attendance is expected at all lectures and laboratory sessions. Proper learning of the course material can only be achieved through regular course attendance and an abundance of time spent completing all of the assigned homework and practicing the skills introduced in this course. You may be dropped from a course by the instructor because of excessive absences or unsatisfactory work.

Homework, Quizzes, and Class Participation

Mini exercises, corresponding to the assigned readings, may be assigned at the beginning of all (non-exam) lecture periods. These exercises are to be completed a week from the day they were assigned, except for extra credit assignments which are due as deemed fit. The instructor may collect one or all of these problems for grading. Late homework will NOT be accepted, except under extraordinary circumstances.

Short quizzes may also be given at the instructor's discretion at certain times during the semester. As a means of encouraging interactive learning in the course, the instructor may base part of your grade on your willingness to participate in class discussions and assignments.


Two in-class exams will be given throughout the semester, and a comprehensive exam and project. All exams will be cumulative and will primarily consist of Remote Sensing theory. Make-up exams will generally NOT be given. However, exceptions will be made in the case of genuine emergencies (the instructor will define "genuine" and "emergency" at his discretion). Vacations or lack of preparation are not valid reasons.

Graduate Credit

Graduate students will be required to undertake a project on any area not covered in class dealing with applications of remote sensing and write a term paper on their findings, critique, and/or proposals.


Your grade for this course will be determined on the following basis, and the standard university grading policy will be followed. However, the instructor reserves the right to curve grades as he deems necessary.

    Undergraduate Student Graduate Student
Homework / Reading Assignments 5% 5%
Lab Assignments 40% 20%
In-class exams (2 @ 12.5 % each) 25% 25%
Final Exam / Project 30% 25%
Graduate Student Project & WriteUp   25%
Total 100% 100%

    Final grade Undergraduate Student
90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
0-59 F

Academic honesty

Teamwork is encouraged for studying course topics, but giving aid to another student during an exam or quiz or taking information from another student's exam or quiz papers constitutes academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will be handled according to code of academic responsibility and conduct.


The course schedule, content, and assignments are subject to modification when circumstances dictate and as the course progresses and matures. If changes are made, you will be given due notice

General Information (Current and Future Trends)

Overview of Remote Sensing
All successful designs of remote sensing involve at a minimum:
•  Clear definition of the problem at hand.
•  Evaluation of the potential for addressing the problem with remote sensing techniques.
•  Identification of the remote sensing data acquisition procedures appropriate to the task.
•  Determination of the data interpretation procedures to be employed and the reference data needed.
•  Identification of the criteria by which the quality of information collected can be judged.

Overview of Geologic and Soil Mapping
The earth has a highly complex and variable surface whose topographic relief and material composition reflect the bedrock and unconsolidated materials that underlie each part of the surface as well as the agents of change that have acted on them. Geomorphological principles can be used to describe and explain geologic and soil related phenomena. Through the processes of visual image interpretation and geologic and soil mapping, these materials can be identified and evaluated.

Overview of Agricultural Applications
When one considers the components involved in studying the worldwide supply and demand for agricultural products, the applications of remote sensing in general are indeed many and varied. Remote sensing has been applied in crop-type classification, “precision farming,” and crop management in general. To inventory broad classes of crops a single-date panchromatic photography may be sufficient.

Overview of Forestry Applications
Forestry is concerned with the management of forests for wood, forage, water, wildlife, and recreation. Visual image interpretation provides a feasible means of monitoring many of the world’s forest conditions. Remote sensing techniques have been applied to identify tree species, studying harvested areas, timber cruising, and the assessment of disease and insect infestations.

Overview of Rangeland Applications
Rangeland has historically been defined as land where the potential natural vegetation is predominantly grasses, grasslike plants, forbs, or shrubs and where animal grazing was an important influence in its precivilization state. Remote sensing techniques at different scales have been used to identify grasses and seedlings, identify and measure erosion features, map vegetation, allot management plans, and model future trends.

Overview of Water Resource Applications
Whether for irrigation, power generation, drinking, manufacturing, or recreation, water is one of our most critical resources. Visual image interpretation can be used in a variety of ways to help monitor the quality, quantity, and geographic distribution of this resource.

In this course, you should attain the following goals and/or objectives by the end of the semester. You should be able to:

•  Define or describe various terms, symbols, etc., as given in the notes, and/or supplementary materials.
•  Learn the fundamental properties of remote sensing and to fully utilize raster data.
•  Interpret correctly and make extensive use of remote sensing basics to address real life situations.
•  Apply the basics of cartography, geodesy, and geography in spatial analyses.
•  Ascertain how data structure dictates capability, accuracy, and analysis of a model.
•  Develop methods for obtaining, processing, and evaluating remotely sensed data.
•  Apply the fundamental principles, generalizations, and theories of Remote Sensing and GIS to typical problems in the areas studied.
•  Develop skills necessary to improve rational-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making.
•  Enhance a sense of personal responsibility as evidenced by self-reliance and self-discipline in the completion of tasks assigned.