cod. 1008701

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Ecologia (BIO/07)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
24 hours
of face-to-face activities
3 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course is offered to students of the Master's Degree and aims to train a culture and skills on monitoring environmental components through remote sensing techniques.

Knowledge and understanding
The course has as its objective the knowledge of the principles of remote sensing, the understanding of satellite image processing methodologies and the ability to analyze maps of bio-geophysical parameters and environmental indicators obtained from such processing. The student will be able to understand, acquire and process satellite data for the monitoring of natural and anthropogenic processes concerning the management of the agro-forestry territory and aquatic environments.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
The student will be able to develop skills in applying remote sensing techniques for understanding different environmental issues in order to produce useful data for various types of applications in agriculture, forestry and inland water management.
The skills acquired will be applied in "problem solving" that is, in identifying the possible choices, with the evaluation of the pros and cons, with respect to a specific monitoring application.
The student will develop the ability to identify the most suitable type of data to create a thematic map (e.g. land use map), to process the acquired data to create thematic maps for monitoring (e.g. vegetation indices) by means of specific "open-source" software. The students will have the opportunity to deepen their capacity in processing images and in using GIS data, which can also be used subsequently and for professional purposes.

Ability to learn
The course aims to develop critical skills and independent judgment in the management of the territory through the support of remote sensing techniques.


Basic principles of physics

Course unit content

The first lesson is an Introduction of the course with an overview of remote sensing.
physical principles of electromagnetic radiation
atmospheric correction
satellite sensors
remote sensing platform (satellite, aircraft, drone) and point of strengthen and limits
hyperspectral missions (PRISMA, DESIS)
Copernicus Programme
principles of calibration and data validation
Spectral signature analysis
classification techniques
change detection techniques
Applications of remote sensing techniques for the study of aquatic environment
Applications of remote sensing techniques for the study of vegetation (aquatic and terrestrial, including crops)
Applications of remote sensing techniques for the study of fires
Applications of remote sensing techniques for the study of glaciers, soils and urban areas
Exercise: use of the software SNAP, ENVI and QGIS

Full programme


Brivio Pietro A., Lechi Giovanni, Zilioli Eugenio, Principi e metodi di telerilevamento, Editor: CittàStudi, Anno edizione: 2006

Volume III Il Telerilevamento. In: Collana Diffusione e sperimentazione della cartografia, del telerilevamento e dei sistemi informativi geografici come tecnologie didattiche applicate allo studio del territorio e dell'ambiente (supplied by the teacher)

The slide shown during the lessons will be made available online.

The teacher will propose supplementary material derived from his research experience (in particular scientific articles).

Teaching methods

During the lessons the fundamental concepts and methodologies of remote sensing research will be illustrated, stimulating the active intervention of the students. Different application cases for different ecosystems will be analysed with the support of scientific articles, in the following contexts: i) monitoring of lakes and oceans; ii) vegetation coverage in agro-forestry and aquatic environments; iii) analysis of indicators for agricultural soils; iv) differences between land used at agricultural and non-agricultural level v) precision farming; vi) impact of forest fires; vii) effect of climate change on glaciers. During the lessons the use of some software will be shown, some of which, as well as satellite images, will be available to students who will be able to put into practice the exercises carried out in the classroom.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam consists of an oral test. The students will present a topic of their choice and then questions will be asked on the entire program of the course.
The student will have to demonstrate logical-deductive skills and the ability to present the concepts of the course in a synthetic, logically organized and effective way.

Other information