Introduction to Remote Sensing
|Instructor: Prof. Michael Ramsey
Office: 509/511 SRCC
Office Phone: 624-8772
Office Hours: Tu (2:00 - 4:00pm)
|T.A./Lab Instructor: Christine Simurda
Office: 209 Thaw
Office Phone: 648-8572
Office Hours: Th (2:00 - 4:00pm)
provides a foundation in the theory and techniques of remote sensing and
geospatial data visualization spanning the electromagnetic spectrum from
the ultraviolet to microwave. Topics will include light/matter interaction,
optics and sensor design, image analysis using commercial state-of-the-art
software, as well as current applications of remote sensing to science
and engineering problems. The course and integrated laboratory are
designed to provide you with an appreciation of current remote sensing
issues, the geologic and human processes that impact remotely-gathered
data, and how those processes can be measured using remote sensing.
Required Text: "Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource
Perspective", 2nd edition, by: J.R. Jensen (Prentice Hall Publishing; 2007,
Supplementary Text: "Remote Sensing: Principles and Interpretation" 3rd
edition, by: F. F. Sabins (W. H. Freeman & Co.; 1996, ISBN: 0-71-672442-1).
Both textbooks will be available on two-hour loan at the Engineering Library. However, it is strongly recommended you have your own copy of the required textbook for exam preparation and laboratory projects.
Lecture Times: Wednesday from 6:00pm - 8:50pm in Thaw 102 (lecture)
& SRCC 207 (computer labs). Attendance is mandatory for all scheduled class
and laboratory meetings. Much of the exam material and laboratory insights will be derived
from my class notes and therefore attendance is beneficial to your grade. The three computer
labs will meet during the regular class meeting times (see schedule). During those
weeks, no lectures will be given and students are expected to meet in the computer laboratory.
There will several times during the semester where I will be on travel for research. These are
usually during laboratories or exam weeks and therefore the TA will cover those classes.
There will be two exams (one mid-term and one final) with equal weighting.
The exams may include essay questions, quantitative problem solving, short answers, and multiple choice.
Exam questions will be based on material covered in the lectures and textbook and will
not be cumulative. I do not give make-up exams or work, so please do not even ask!
There will be three primary labs in addition to one
introductory lab. These labs will meet in SRCC room 207 during the class meeting
time, so no additional hours need to be scheduled. However, the lab exercises will likely
take longer than the scheduled meeting time. Extended laboratory hours will be announced.
In addition, the size of the class may require lab/computer time to be scheduled. More
details will follow. The TA will decide on a grading policy for late lab reports - you
will lose significant points if your lab is more than 1 week late!
The GEOL-2461 course has been established for graduate students or in
special circumstances, undergraduate students who require graduate-level course credit. Anyone
registering for this course needs the permission of the instructor and has two options for credit:
course + small project: students who have never taken a remote sensing
course in the past should choose this option. You will be expected to attend all lectures,
perform all labs, and take both exams. You are also expected to devise a small independent
research project using remote sensing data and present the results to the class at the end of the
semester together with 5-page written report.
large research project only: students who have had a remote sensing
course in the past (particularly this class taken as an undergraduate) are required to take this
option. You are welcome to sit-in on the lectures and labs, but are not required to do so. You will
also be exempt from taking the exams. Your grade, therefore, will be based solely on the results of a
more in-depth independent research project using remote sensing data. The results will be presented at
the end of the semester to the class together with a 15-page written report.
Grading will be based on both exams, class participation, and
the laboratories, with the exact breakdown will be:
This is not even worth bringing up in a university-level course. Cheating/plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students suspected of violating the University of Pittsburgh Policy on Academic Integrity will be required to participate in the outlined procedural process as initiated by the instructor. A minimum sanction of a zero score for the quiz, exam or paper will be imposed. No excuses.
If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services, 216 William Pitt Union, 412-648-7890/412-383-7355 (TTY), as early as possible in the term. Disability Resources and Services will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.
Your University e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) is used by the University (and me) for official communication. Students are expected to read e-mail sent to this account on a regular basis. Failure to read and react to email in a timely manner does not absolve the student from knowing and complying with the content of the communications. The University provides an e-mail forwarding service that allows students to read their e-mail via other service providers. Students that choose to forward their e-mail from their pitt.edu address to another address do so at their own risk. If e-mail is lost as a result of forwarding, it does not absolve the student from responding to official communications sent to their University e-mail address. Please see the E-mail Communication Policy for details.
E-mail Communication Policy:
The primary web site for this course is located at:
contains the syllabus, announcements, and assignments for the class. I tend to continually
revise the class schedule as the semester progresses, so please check there for the most current
Course Web Site: