Universitat de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 4108-4114
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Remote sensing provides the best means to monitor changes in vegetation over a wide range of temporal scales over large areas. International Space agencies (NASA, ESA, EUMETSAT) and other institutional providers currently deliver various satellite products mostly open and available to everyone at different temporal and spatial resolutions over the globe. Operational European services such as EUMETSAT / SAF Land, JRC / MARS Food, JRC/ ACP Observatory are currently taking advantage of available satellite data. In particular, the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) is an EU-led initiative, aims to provide, on a sustained basis, reliable and timely geo-information services related to environmental and security issues in support of public policy makers’ needs.

In this work, authors’ experiences from remote sensing teaching are summarized. This gathers different educational activities, which were offered for a broad community of (graduate and undergraduate) students in the University of Valencia. These activities were aimed for students of different disciplines: Environmental management and land use, needing information on land cover type and land cover changes; Agricultural and forestry applications, requiring information on incoming/outgoing radiation and vegetation properties; Natural hazards management, which requires frequent observations of terrestrial surfaces.

This teaching offers an overall view on the use of satellite data, particularly those provided by European (MERIS/ENVISAT, SEVIRI/MSG, VEGETATION/SPOT) and America (TM/Landsat, MODIS & AQUA/TERRA) satellites, for monitoring vegetation cover and properties. Firstly, the students become familiar with current databases for a user-friendly access to images and products. Secondly, a standard set of satellite data processors (BEAM-ESA, NSIDC-NASA) are provided, allowing ortho-rectification to common map projections and additional features such as cloud filtering, atmospheric correction and parameters estimation. These tools allow the derivation of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) that can be used for a wide range of land biosphere applications, including land cover and land cover change, and parameters related with vegetation, fire and radiation fluxes, water, snow and ice. Finally, a direct use of several of those variables is demonstrated, such as changes in the land cover either caused by changes in land use, climate change or natural hazards (like forest fires or droughts), which may have a huge social and economic impact.
Remote Sensing, tools, open databases.