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.

NOAA WCN Ocean Satellite Course



The course consists of both lectures and labs. The lectures 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 addition, this year there will be an introduction to using data in high latitude and polar regions.

In the labs, participants are provided with individual workstations where they will use tools developed by the Environmental Research Division 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 ArcGIS, Matlab, R and Python, because of the popularity of these software packages.

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.

For additional information, please contact Cara Wilson

Draft Agenda

Day 1 (9:00am-5:00pm)
Introductions, objectives, and logistics
Overview of ocean remote sensing
Sea surface temperature / Ocean color
Sea surface height / Winds / Sea Ice / Salinity
Satellite applications for fisheries and marine sanctuaries
ERD’s data services
What dataset should I use?
Intro to the ArcGIS tools

Day 2 (9:00am-5:00pm)
Sample Application: ‘MGET’
Data extraction with R and Matlab
Lab: work on projects

Day 3 (9:00am-noon)
Lab: work on projects
One-on-one appointments
Wrap-up discussion

Course Fee

There is no financial fee to attend this course. However we do expect ‘payment’ from participants in the form of a PowerPoint slide after the course indicating how they are using satellite data in their work. These slides have been crucial for obtaining support for these courses, and they are important for demonstrating to NESDIS the usages of satellite data within NOAA.


The course was developed and will be taught by instructors from the CoastWatch West Coast Regional Node, PolarWatch, and the Southwest Fisheries Science Center's Environmental Research Division. Classroom space is being provided by the hosting institution.


Overview: ERD’s Data Services (.doc 2.4MB)
Satellite Data Primer (.doc 20KB)



Puerto Rico Course

• Date and Location

February 5-7, 2020
San Juan

• Course Registration

Register for the Puerto Rico course

• Lodging Suggestions

Lodging information will be available soon.

• Travel Support

Some funding for travel may be available. Please check back later for additional information.


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