The February satellite course in Puerto Rico has been cancelled. Please return to this website after the government shutdown has ended for information about rescheduling.

Satellite Courses


Registration for the NOAA CoastWatch satellite course to be held January 24-28, 2022 is now close.

Information and Registration

Are you interested in using oceanographic satellite data in your work but don't know where to start? The NOAA CoastWatch program offers in-person and online courses where participants learn about environmental satellite data and how to easily obtain it. Participants also gain hands on experience working with the data of interest to them. A major goal of the course is to provide scientists who are not regular users of satellite data with the knowledge and tools they need to incorporate satellite data into their research and management projects.

For more information, please sign up for course updates under "Additional Information" on this page.


The course consists of both instructional materials and virtual workshops. The instructional materials introduce participants to the different types of environmental satellite data, including ocean color, sea surface temperature, sea surface height, salinity, and ocean surface winds.

In the workshops, participants are provided with individual and group assistance to use tools to locate online satellite data at the spatial and temporal coverage appropriate to their needs and download the data into the software of their choice. We generally focus on R, ArcGIS, and Python, because of the popularity of these software packages, however participants using other software packages are also welcome.

Participants are expected to come to the course with a specific project to work on during the workshops. For example, if their project is to merge tagged animal tracks with satellite data, they should bring track data with them. Participants get more out of the workshop if they have specific questions or projects to work on.

The courses are geared towards National Marine Fisheries Service and National Ocean Service scientists, but non-NOAA participants are welcome if space permits. Hundreds of people have taken this course, with participants from each of the six fisheries science centers, many of the marine sanctuaries, as well as other government agencies such as the US Coast Guard, US Geological Survey and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
There is no fee associated with the course, but participants will be requested to submit a single PowerPoint slide that discribes the projects they worked on during the course.

Dates and locations of past courses

Date Location
4/2020 USGS Anchorage, Online
2/2020 University of Puero Rico, San Juan
9/2019 Texas A & M, Galveston
8/2018 University of Washington, Seattle
8/2017 University of Washington, Seattle
8/2016 University of Washington, Seattle
8/2015 University of Washington, Seattle
8/2014 University of Washington, Seattle
8/2013 Oregon State University, Corvallis
3/2012 NOS Coastal Services Charleston, SC
3/2011 Oregon State University, Corvallis
8/2010 Peninsula College, Monterey, CA
8/2009 Peninsula College, Monterey, CA
3/2008 Oregon State University, Corvallis
3/2007 Oregon State University, Corvallis
8/2006 Oregon State University, Corvallis
To date, only one course has been scheduled for 2021. Additional courses may be added as the year progresses.

Dates and locations of future courses

Date Location
May 2021 SWFSC, Online


To be notified about future courses, contact Cara Wilson or sign-up for course updates using the form on this page.

Privacy PolicyInformation QualityDisclaimerWebsite Owner