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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Satellite Remote Sensing Training for Biological Oceanographers

June 3-17, 2016


This intensive summer training course meets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a two-week period. The goal of the course is to teach participants the skills needed to work independently to acquire data sets derived from a variety of satellite sensors (SeaWiFS, MODIS, AVHRR, SeaWinds and Topex-Poseidon) and to merge these data sets to examine biological response to changes in the physical environment.

Course time is split equally between lectures and computer lab work.

  • Lectures cover the fundamentals of bio-optics, pigment algorithms, primary production algorithms, and the underlying physical principals leading to the measurement of sea surface temperature, ocean wind speed, and ocean topography.
  • Computer labs focus on developing the IDL (Research Systems, Inc.) programming skills needed to process, analyze, and visualize satellite image data.

Contact Bruce Monger for more details on the topics covered in this course.


The course is open to advanced undergraduate students, graduate students and post-graduate professionals. The minimum prerequisite for this course is one semester of oceanography and/or marine biology or instructor's permission. Good analytical and computer skills are desirable, but not essential.

Participants register for Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS) 7550, Satellite Remote Sensing Training for Biological Oceanographers, for three credits.

Tuition for this course is $3,930. On-campus housing is available at an additional cost.

Note: Visiting students attending on-campus summer classes are required to pay either the summer Student Health Fee or enroll in Cornell’s Student Health Plan. For information, see the Health and Safety page.

The class is limited to 20 students and will be filled on a first-come first-served basis. Application instruction, and much more information about the course, can be found on the course web page.

The application deadline is May 2, 2016, or until the program is full.

Refund policy

To withdraw from this special program, you must notify the SCE registrar's office in writing. Your refund amount will be determined by the number of days from the start of the program that you withdraw.

Refund schedule (based on program start date):

  • Days 1–3: Withdrawal period with a 100 percent tuition refund
  • Days 4–5: Withdrawal period with a 50 percent tuition refund
  • Day 6: Withdrawal period with a 0 percent refund

If you want to appeal the refund schedule based on special circumstances, please download and complete the petition form and submit it to B20 Day Hall. The form will be reviewed by committee, and you will be notified if your appeal is approved.

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