For the last two weeks, 40 community college instructors who teach Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were gathered at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX to learn about integrating remote sensing into their existing programs as part of the Integrated Geospatial Education and Technology Training (iGETT) project. During the first week of the 2008 iGETT Summer Institute, the current cohort of 20 instructors was joined by the 20 instructors (known as Cohort 1) who were part of the 2007 iGETT Summer Institute . While Cohort 1 focused on program marketing, Cohort 2 learned what Cohort 1 had learned in 2007: remote sensing basics, how to use ENVI professional image processing software, how to use a spectrometer and a handheld GPS, how to download federal remote sensing data (namely Landsat, MODIS, and ASTER), about remote sensing applications, and about field validation techniques. A field trip around greater Corpus Christi was held on Saturday June 21st. During the field trip, participants took GPS waypoints and digital photographs at various locations along a designated route, noting the land cover type of each place. The field trip culminated on Padre Island National Seashore where participants set up a Landsat pixel-sized plot and took densiometer readings along two diagonal transects to systematically characterize the ground cover. Back in the lab on Monday, participants compared their field notes with their Landsat image classifications. All participants are developing “learning units” that integrate remote sensing and GIS, to cover at least two weeks of class time. These learning units will be publicly available.
Landsat staff involved in the 2008 iGETT Summer Institute included Jeannie Allen (PI, SSAI), Rachel Headley (PI/Scientist, USGS), Laura Rocchio (Instructor/Scientist, SSAI), Rich Irish (Instructor/Scientist, SSAI) and Eric Brown de Colstoun (Scientist, SSAI).
iGETT is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education Program (NSF DUE-0703185).
• iGETT website
Satellites offer a wealth of information pertinent for water and food security. Landsat has long been a foundational piece of the “Space for Ag” initiative.