Cornell Summer Program in satellite remote sensing in biological oceanography
CALS Impact Statement
The education program trains undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-graduate professionals from around the world in the application of satellite remote sensing methods in global ocean research.
Ocean ecosystems play a vital role in the global carbon cycle and, consequently, represent an important component of current global climate change research. The need for understanding oceanic ecosystems at the global scale has prompted a dramatic increase in the number and type of satellite data sets available for use by oceanographers. However, there has not been a similar increase in opportunities for researchers to learn how to work with these new satellite data sets. Satellite data sets, acquired at great expense and made freely available to the scientific community, are not being used to their full potential because of the lack of opportunities to learn basic skills needed to both access the data and use it to address basic scientific questions.
With seed support from the Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program at the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, a summer program was created at Cornell University in 1999 to provide critical training in the use of a wide variety of global satellite data sets. The goal of the program is to produce researchers and managers who can work independently to obtain archived ocean data sets derived from a wide variety of satellite sensors and merge these data in order to examine biological response to changes in the physical ocean environment at regional and global scales.
Beginning in 2003, the program has become self-supporting with revenue now coming from participant tuition fees. Since its inception, the program has trained 73 participants made up of advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and postgraduate professionals. The program is now recognized as a premier training program in satellite remote sensing and attracts participants from around the world. The program is training the next generation of scientists to use an interdisciplinary earth system science approach in their research and to take advantage of the increase in space-based observations of our planet.
funding source description
The program is fully supported by student summer tuition. After summer sessions recover 15 percent of tuition, the remainder is returned to EAS for educational enhancements.