Remote Sensing of the Environment (DOC)

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                 The Earth from Space: Remote Sensing of the Environment
                                    Geography 3110, Fall 2007
Instructor: Dr. Phil Dennison
Class Time and Location: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00pm-3:20pm, 102 OSH
Lab Location: 273 OSH
Note: All classes will be held in 102 OSH except where noted on the syllabus or announced in
Office Hours: Tuesday 12:15-1:15, Thursday 3:30-4:30, or by appointment
Office: 270 C OSH
Office Phone: 585-1805

Teaching Assistant: Ryo Michishita
Office Hours: Tuesday 9:10-10:40, Thursday 12:15-1:45, or by appointment
Office: 109 OSH
Office Phone: 581-4963

Course Description
Over the past decade there has been an extraordinary increase in the availability of remote
sensing images of Earth. Many people are now familiar with remote sensing through web-based
mapping services and innovative visualization programs like Google Earth. Less than 10 years
ago, it was unlikely that you had ever seen a satellite image of your home or school. The
explosion in the availability of remote sensing data has coincided with a growing number of
remote sensing applications. Remote sensing data are now used in anthropology, civil
engineering, environmental sciences, geography, geology, hydrology, natural resource
assessment, meteorology, and urban planning. In this course, we will examine remote sensing
science, techniques, and applications. We will learn about the physical basis for remote sensing
and explore remote sensing technologies that use sunlight, infrared radiation, radar, and lasers.
Five lab exercises will give us “hands-on” experience with real remote sensing data.

Optional Textbook
Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective, 2nd edition, John R. Jensen
(2007) Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-188950-8.

The following weights will be assigned to labs and exams to determine grades for the course:
       Midterm 1: 20%
       Midterm 2: 20%
       Labs: 30%
       Final: 30%

There will be three exams, including two midterms and a final. Exams may include multiple
choice, short answer and essay questions. The final exam will be cumulative. Exams can not be
made up unless the instructor is contacted prior to an absence. If a make-up exam is offered, it
may take any form, at the discretion of the instructor. If a make-up exam is granted, you will be

required to take the exam at the University testing center. Please note that a fee is charged by the
testing center for the use of their services.

The final exam will be held on Tuesday, December 11 from 1-3 PM.

There will be five labs held on Thursdays during class time in 273 OSH. These dates are
specified in the syllabus. There are only 25 computers in the lab, and the class may have up to
40 students. For this reason, there are two separate lab sections.

You will need a lab username and login. Please visit to
obtain your username and password before the first lab.

You are expected to do your own work on the labs. Labs are due at the beginning of class on the
day they are due. Labs turned in late will lose 10% of their value each day they are late. Labs
that have been wholly or partially plagiarized will receive a zero.
Labs will be released on WebCT. Go to to log into WebCT. You may
hand in lab assignments on paper (hand-written or typed) or electronically (by e-mail).

Disabilities Statement
The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for
people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice
needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020
(V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for
accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in alternative
format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.


   Date                            Topics                             Reading
Tue Aug 21    Introduction
Thu Aug 23    Remote Sensing System                                  Chapter 1
Tue Aug 28    History of Remote Sensing                              Chapter 3
Thu Aug 30    Remote Sensing and the Electromagnetic Spectrum        Chapter 2
 Tue Sep 4    Remote Sensing and the Electromagnetic Spectrum
 Thu Sep 6    Aerial Photography                                     Chapter 4
 Tue Sep 11   Image Interpretation                                   Chapter 5
 Thu Sep 13   Image Interpretation and Photogrammetry                Chapter 6
 Tue Sep 18   Photogrammetry
 Thu Sep 20   Lab 1
 Tue Sep 25   MIDTERM 1
 Thu Sep 27   Multispectral Remote Sensing, Lab 1 Due                Chapter 7
 Tue Oct 2    Multispectral Remote Sensing
 Thu Oct 4    Lab 2
 Tue Oct 9    Fall Break (No Class)
 Thu Oct 11   Fall Break (No Class)
 Tue Oct 16   Thermal Remote Sensing, Lab 2 Due                      Chapter 8
 Thu Oct 18   Thermal/Passive Microwave Remote Sensing          Chapter 9, p. 330-332
 Tue Oct 23   Active Microwave Remote Sensing,                  Chapter 9, p. 291-330
 Thu Oct 25   Lab 3
 Tue Oct 30   Active Microwave Remote Sensing, Lab 3 Due
 Thu Nov 1    Active Microwave Remote Sensing
 Tue Nov 6    MIDTERM 2
 Thu Nov 8    Lab 4
Tue Nov 13    LIDAR, Lab 4 Due                                       Chapter 10
Thu Nov 15    Remote Sensing of Vegetation                           Chapter 11
Tue Nov 20    Remote Sensing of Vegetation
Thu Nov 22    Thanksgiving Break (No Class)
Tue Nov 27    Remote Sensing of Water                                Chapter 12
Thu Nov 29    Lab 5
 Tue Dec 4    Remote Sensing of Urban Landscapes, Lab 5 Due          Chapter 13
 Thu Dec 6    Remote Sensing of Land Surface Materials               Chapter 14
Tue Dec 11    Final, 1-3 PM


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