The project "E-learning course on Time Series Analysis in Remote Sensing for Understanding Human-Environment Interactions (E-TRAINEE)" has been awarded funding in the 2020 Erasmus+ "Strategic Partnerships" call. The project brings together experts from Charles University, Heidelberg University, University of Warsaw (all three 4EU+ member institutions) and the University of Innsbruck. Charles University is the coordinating institution.
The project’s objective is to develop a new. comprehensive research-oriented open e-learning course on time series analysis in remote sensing for environmental monitoring which will complement the existing curricula at all four partner universities. The course development will be carried out in co-creation with stakeholders from the private sector, public authorities and NGOs to guarantee a fit-to-use education beyond the academic sector.
The idea behind the course
Processing of time series of remote sensing data presents a challenge for today’s and future research. Extensive volumes of data are being collected and recorded at the international, national and local levels. Specific localities are monitored on regular (hourly, weekly, monthly, yearly) basis for research purposes such as monitoring resistance of plants to droughts, invasive species encroachment, melting of mountainous snow and glaciers, desertification, decrease of biodiversity, deforestation or urbanization. Thus, processing methods of the time series of remote sensing data of different time and spatial scales, the combination of heterogeneous and multi-modal data sources and the accuracy assessment of the obtained results are becoming a key part of remote sensing and geo(infor)matics curricula.
The course participants will benefit from the extended course portfolio in terms of novel, streamlined contents and digital teaching methods as well as internationalisation. The primary target group for the course are MSc and PhD students of geoinformatics and geography who specialize in remote sensing for monitoring Earth surface dynamic and changes. The secondary target group are MSc and PhD students in the fields related to environmental studies, ecology or geology, as well as potential users from public and private sectors dealing with the applications of remote sensing. This includes practitioners of national environmental and conservation agencies, research institutes or companies offering services in remote sensing. The course will be also disseminated among potential users from universities outside the consortium, offering education in the field. The number of participants is estimated at about 80 per year from the four partner universities and at least 100 participants from institutions outside the consortium.
Innovative character of the course
The course will offer a multidisciplinary approach connecting approaches and perspectives from computer science, geography and environmental studies. Well-established and latest technologies of remote sensing (satellite and UAV sensing, multispectral and hyperspectral sensing, 3D point clouds) and methods of artificial intelligence (machine and deep learning) will be applied to demonstrate environmental changes and the interaction between human activities and environment. The application of different technologies will also show how the same environmental phenomenon can be analysed from the perspective of different data sources, scales and time frequencies, thus increasing students’ digital literacy. Through the course, the students will also gain the skills for critical reflection and communication of complex data processing tasks which are essential in transformative and interdisciplinary research missions.
At the European level, the project gives an example of innovative, collaborative research-oriented teaching. The project's outputs will give an impetus to developing other courses that can built upon the gained experience as “intellectual infrastructure” and to further research in the subject.
The project will be carried out from September 2020 to August 2023.
Charles University (Dr. Markéta Potůčková, Department of Applied Geoinformatics and Cartography)
Heidelberg University (Prof. Dr. Bernhard Höfle, Institute of Geography)
University of Warsaw (Dr. Adriana Marcinkowska-Ochtyra, Chair of Geomatics and Information Systems)
University of Innsbruck (Dr. Martin Rutzinger, Institute of Geography)