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

Information for the Online Satellite Course

Dates and Times 

Monday, May 3 to Thusday, May 6, 2021

- Daily Overview: 10am - 11am PDT

- Office hours:  2pm - 4 pm PDT

Friday, May 7 2021

- Presentation of class projects: 10am -11am PDT

Class Project

Participants are expected to come to the course with a specific project to work on during the labs. 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. If you do not have a project to work on, please contact Cara Wilson for help.


Attendees must provide their own laptop/device. Although, the following software/packages/modules are optional, examples given in this workshop will use each of the software listed below and are suggested for completing exercises within the workshop. In the case of non-government software and offsite links, NOAA CoastWatch is not endorsing the product, but providing the link for convenience.


R and R Studio

The latest version of R Studio is required to participate in the R tutorials and examples presented in the course.


Python 3 is required to participate in the Python tutorials and examples presented in the course.

  • Anaconda installations have made it easier to install the required modules. 
  • Miniconda is a light weight version of Anaconda that takes up less disk space. It comes with a minimal set of modules, so you add just what you need.
  • Jupyter Notebooks in addition to Python 3 will be used for Python exercises. 
  • The following modules are required:

    pyproj, netCDF4, requests, matplotlib, pandas, cartopy, xarray, statsmodels, shapely, and cmocean.

    You can run this script in your python environment to check if the modules are install.
    If you are using Anaconda or Miniconda, first try installing the modules using the conda-forge channel.
    E.g. "conda install -c conda-forge xarray"
    If that does not work, try without the conda-forge channel
    or with PIP
    E.g. "pip install xarray"


ArcGIS may also be used in exercises. Users must have their own licensed version of this software in addition to the Data Management Tools Extension.

Please install the Environmental Data Connector (EDC), which is a helpful add-on for ArcGIS that is made avaialbe by the CoastWatch West Coast Node and NOAA/SWFSC/ERD.


Please install Panoply, a netCDF viewer developed by NASA. Panoply is available for download at:
and can be run on Windows, Mac and Linux computers.  


Course Materials


Google Doc  
(non-NOAA participant must request access)    

Single precorded lessons (YouTube)

Course Introduction (Live Monday)

Satellites 101 Part 1

Satellites 101 Part 2

Strategies and tools

Introduction to the ERDDAP Data Server

Ocean Color

Sea Surface Temperature

Wind, Salinity, Sea Surface Height 

Sea Ice Measurements

Choosing a Dataset 

Using R with Satellite Data


Playlist for all precorded lessons 


ArcGIS Data  (Narrated)

ArcGIS Tools  (Narrated)

ArcGIS Exercises: Barebones 

ArcGIS Exercises: Detailed 
(Google Slides: non-NOAA  participant must request access)


NetCDF + Panoply 





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