Course: FRST 443 – January 2017

Instructor: Nicholas Coops and Trevor Jones
Office Hours: Anytime as long as door is open.
FSC 2043 / FRM 2214
Telephone: 604-822-6452
Text Book: Lillesand, T. M., Kiefer, R. W. and Chipman, J (2007) Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation (6th Ed). Wiley and Sons, New York
Other References: Jensen, J.R (2000) Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective, 2nd Edition, Prentice-Hall 544p
Lectures: Monday and Wednesday 12 – 1.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8 – 10  (Room FSC 1406).


Teaching Assistant:  Tristian Goodbody  (, Zoltan Mityok

Class overheads and notes are available on CONNECT


Course Description

This course is an introduction to the methods used to gather spatial information about the Earth’s surface by remote sensing and how this can be used to map, monitor and better manage the forestry and vegetation resources. The course begins with coverage of the fundamentals of spatial data capture, the theory of electromagnetic radiation, the spectral properties of both natural and manufactured materials and the characteristics of airborne and satellite sensor systems used in earth observations.

This is followed by consideration of the principles of photographic analysis and aerial photointerpretation. Basic digital image processing will be explained covering image rectification and classification. New advances such as LIDAR, RADAR and hyperspectral image analysis will also be covered.

Learning Objectives

It is expected that at the completion of this subject and lab program you should have learnt the following:

  • The variety and capabilities of current and future airborne and spaceborne sensors.
  • The nature of the information content in currently available remotely sensed imagery and how to extract this.
  • The spectral properties of the earth surface and how this can be used to interpret vegetation and other aspects of the environment.
  • The way in which pixel properties are a mixture of the various components within that pixel and how these can be unmixed to produce abundance maps.
  • The various possible applications of the new technique of hyperspectral imagery
  • The principles and techniques of Side Looking Radar and Interferometery and how these techniques can be used in the geosciences.
  • How to acquire ground truth data and practical aspects of the interpretation of remotely sensed data.
  • The role of image processing in the management of spatial geoscience data.
  • The range of formats for spatial data that you are likely to encounter.
  • The need for data preprocessing and methods of preprocessing.
  • Methods of visualisation of spatial data.
  • Data characteristics and statistical properties of spatial data.
  • Methods of image enhancement and classification.
  • The concepts of spatial filtering.

Laboratories: Attendance at all laboratories is mandatory. Laboratories will reinforce concepts learned in readings and lectures, as well as introducing students to new ideas and techniques. Laboratory assignments given out during the labs and are available on-line.

Submission dates are also available on the WWW site.


Mid-term (in lecture) 20%
Presentations 10%
Lab Projects 30%
Final Exam (in exam period) 40%

Assignments / laboratories should be submitted to Professor Coops at the end of the lecture on the deadline date, or prior to the deadline they may be placed in my mailbox, 2nd Floor, Forest Sciences Centre.

The final exam will cover all material (lectures, labs, readings) covered in the entire course. All assignments in this course will be marked for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Late assignments will be penalized by 30% of the mark per day or partial day late. Make-up tests, exams, or laboratories will only be permitted under exceptional circumstances, with appropriate documentation.