Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Remote Sensing of the Bio-Geosphere (Part 1)

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 1
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsible
  • Rasmus Fensholt (2-80744e77757c3c79833c7279)
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Course number: NIGK14045U

Course content

This competence-line course teaches state-of the art research of global scale Earth Observation (EO) of our changing bio-geosphere. The theoretical background for monitoring various components of the bio-geosphere will be discussed during classes and software based analysis tools will be tested in a number of practical PC-based hands-on exercises during the course. The course includes an introduction to data gateway download, pre-processing and analysis of various state-of-the-art remote sensing systems. Focus will be on theory and methods of optical and thermal infrared remote sensing (physical principles, electromagnetic radiation, atmospheric correction, image processing techniques etc.) and applications hereof. Remote sensing applications cover remote sensing of the marine environment (lake and coastal monitoring, Sea surface temperature monitoring, ocean productivity), remote sensing of snow and ice (snow indices, monitoring of glacier/ocean ice), vegetation productivity (vegetation indices, plant water stress, net primary production) and remote sensing of the atmosphere (tropospheric trace gas concentrations). Long term trend analysis and teleconnection studies based upon multi-year datasets are introduced as tools for analysing large scale ecosystem changes.

Learning outcome


  • Earth Observation based time series analysis
  • Remote Sensing based changes in the bio-geosphere
  • Advanced geoinformatics



  • Apply correct scientific remote sensing definitions and terminology in written assignments.
  • Description of the atmospheric influence on the remotely sensed signal.
  • Identification, downloading and pre-processing of remote sensing data on the web.
  • Assessment of the statistical significance of long term trends in the various components of the bio-geosphere.
  • Describe the role of remote sensing data in the discussion of global change studies
  • Understand scientific literature related to the course subjects.



  • Combine knowledge on remote sensing data systems for optimal monitoring of changes in various components of the bio-geosphere.
  • Understanding relevant remote sensing theory and methods for successful remote sensing based analysis of the marine environment, snow and ice, vegetation productivity and remote sensing of the atmosphere.
  • Discussions of advantages/disadvantages and the complementary use of remote sensing data systems of varying spatial, temporal, spectral and radiometric resolution for ecosystem monitoring.
  • Independent data collection and analysis for understanding drivers of ecosystem changes using remote sensing software.

Recommended prerequisites

BSc in Geography and Geoinformatics or equivalent.

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MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a Minor Subject
MSc Programme in Agriculture


Study Board of Geosciences and Management

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


1 block


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Teaching and learning methods

The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.


25 students (1 clase of 25).




Please see Absalon course page.


Category Hours
Theory exercises 35
Project work 35
Preparation 136
English 206


Type of assessment

Written assignment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.


All aids allowed

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

Please see learning outcomes.

Censorship form

External censorship


Re-submission of written assignment, 20 minutes oral examination. The written assignment must be handed in prior to the re-examination week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list.

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