Instructor: Dr. Michael Ramsey
Office: SRCC, room 509/511
Office Phone: 624-8772
Office Hours: M, W, 1:30pm - 2:30pm

1. Objective: This course is intended primarily for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, and is designed as a follow on to the Intro/Advanced Remote Sensing classes. There is strong emphasis on remote sensing theory, field-oriented problems, data collection, and validation. The ultimate goal will be to explore the connection between remotely-gathered images and the real world factors which influence those data. In the process, students should come away with an appreciation of current remote sensing issues, understand the geologic and human processes that impact remotely-gathered data, and how those processes can be observed and measured with remote sensing and GPS data.

2. Suggested Text: "Introductory Digital Image Processing" by J.R. Jensen (Prentice Hall Publishing, 2005, ISBN: 0-13-145361-0)

3. Supplementary Texts: The text books below provide excellent resources if you have not had a remote sensing course prior to this one. They also contain very good sections on specific topics, which I will use for certain lectures. They will be available on 2-hour loan from me.

  • "Infrared Spectroscopy" by P.L. King, M.S. Ramsey, G.A. Swayze (Mineralogical Association of Canada, 2004, ISBN: 0-921294-33-6)
  • "Geomatics" by B.F. Kavanagh (Prentice Hall Publishing, 2003, ISBN: 0-13-032289-X)
  • "Fundamentals of Geological and Environmental Remote Sensing", by R.K. Vincent (Prentice Hall Publishing, 1997, ISBN: 0-13-348780-6)
  • "Physical Principles of Remote Sensing" by W.G. Rees (Cambridge University Press, 2001, ISBN: 978-0-521-66948-1)

4. Lecture Time: W from 6:00pm - 8:50pm in SRCC 207. The class meetings will be divided into lectures and seminar-style discussion of assigned papers and image processing. Seminar discussions will be student-driven and count for a portion of the final grade. Attendance is required at all scheduled class meetings and field trips. In addition, I will be away on research-related travel for times during the term. This may necessitate changes in the scheduled meeting times and/or guest-lecturers.

5. Field Trip(s): Field trip(s) will take place on selected weekends (see schedule). These will involve image/GPS processing prior to the trip, field measurements and data collection during the trip, and an 8-page write-up after each trip is complete. There may be a fee required for the trips, but I will discuss those details later in the class.

6. Course Requirements:

  1. Exam: There will be one mid-term and no final examination. The exam may include essay questions and quantitative problem solving. Exam questions will be based on material covered in the lectures and assigned reading. Most of you know the style of my exams!

  1. Project: The term project will be a chance for you to perform a research study using the techniques that have been presented in this course. The focus of the project is up to you (subject to my approval) and can either concentrate on data from the class or on another project in which you are currently involved. The work should be independent and constitute new research of a quality thatis worthy of a scientific publication. It will form a significant portion of your final grade and therefore should be given a serious effort. Oral project presentations will be made in PowerPoint (or a non-Microsoft product of your choice) during the last week of class, with a 15-page written report due the following week. I will discuss this in greater detail in the coming weeks.

7. Grading: Grading will be based on seminar participation, the exam, field trip preparation/reports and the final project. The exact breakdown will be:

  • Seminar participation
  • Mid-term examination
  • Field trip preparation/participation/report(s)
  • Final project (written)
  • Final project (oral)
  • 25%
  • 25%
  • 25%
  • 15%
  • 10%

  • 8. Web Site: The site is located at and will contain the syllabus, announcements and assignments for the class. Please check there for the most current class information.

    9. Disability Resources: If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Disability Resources and Services, 216 William Pitt Union, 412-648-7890 / 412-383-7355 (FTY), as early as possible in the term. Disability Resources and Services will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.

    10. Academic Integrity: Cheating/plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students suspected of violating the University of Pittsburgh Policy on Academic Integrity, noted below, 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.

    11. E-mail Communication Policy: Each student is issued a University e-mail address ( upon admittance. This e-mail address may be used by the University for official communication with students. Students are expected to read e-mail sent to this account on a regular basis. Failure to read and react to University communications 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 (e.g., Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo). Students that choose to forward their e-mail from their 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. To forward e-mail sent to your University account, go to, log into your account, click on Edit Forwarding Addresses, and follow the instructions on the page. Be sure to log out of your account when you have finished (for the full E-mail Communication Policy, go to:

    12. Other Links:

  • Class Field Project:

  • FINAL GRADES (Posted: )

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