Training course on terrestrial remote sensing in Svalbard: now open also for non-members!

This autumn, SIOS will offer a training course on how to effectively use remote sensing data acquired from satellites, from the air or from the ground, and their associated tools and software in the context of terrestrial research in Svalbard. The course is intended for field scientists, Ph.D. students and technicians with no or little experience with remote sensing techniques. The training will be delivered by remote sensing experts from SIOS member institutions, international teachers and potential virtual talks from ESA experts.

  • Time: 31 August - 4 September 2020* (starting Monday morning, ending Friday at lunch time, depending on flights)
  • Location: Longyearbyen, Svalbard (update 15 June 2020: the course will be conducted online)
  • Who can apply? In this second round also non-SIOS members can apply
  • Application deadline: 7 June

Application form

*Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dates are not set in stone. If the pandemic is still a risk factor, the course will be delayed towards the end of September, postponed to 2021 or offered as a remote class instead of in-person.

We have now opened application also for non-SIOS members. The training course is free of charge, but participants have to cover their own expenses on travel and accommodation in Longyearbyen. Employees and students from SIOS member institutions* (Is my institution a SIOS member?) can apply for partial support for travel and accommodation (actual costs up to 5 000 NOK/participant from European/Nordic SIOS member institutions and up to 10 000 NOK/participant from Asian SIOS member institutions).

Preliminary practical information

  • Course participants are expected to bring their own laptops.
  • The course is based on free and open access software and SIOS will additionally provide access to a virtual machine.
  • SIOS will cover a networking dinner and all lunches/coffee breaks during the training course

Goal of the training

The goal of the course is to teach participants the basic skills needed to work independently to acquire, analyse and visualize terrestrial data sets derived from a variety of close to very long-range sources.


Many field scientists, from SIOS member institutions, have been working on research projects which would greatly benefit from the addition of a richer set of remote sensing viewpoints. However, they may lack the necessary training required to make easy but effective use of freely available data sets, tools, and software, as well as to plan and execute research-grade field remote sensing acquisitions. Ph.D. students from SIOS member institutions who are about to begin careers using remote sensing as an integral part of their research projects can also benefit from this training course.

Topics covered during the training

The training course will include lectures and hands-on sessions focusing on:

  • Overview of the range of methods included in the term remote sensing
    • Different sensor types (optical, multispectral, thermal, RADAR, LiDAR, etc.)
    • Different platform types including handheld/ground (e.g. time-lapse camera, airborne (drone, planes), and satellites
  • Overview of available free open-source satellite data (Copernicus satellite and other) and tools that can be used for remote sensing in terrestrial environments of Svalbard
  • Examples of applications on glaciers, permafrost processes, snow modelling, terrestrial biology, wildlife monitoring, and more.

Teachers and speakers (will be updated)

  • Hans Tømmervik, NINA
  • Roberto Salzano, CNR
  • Lars Eklundh, Lund University
  • Luc Girod, University of Oslo
  • Richard Hann, UNIS/NTNU
  • Tom Rune Lauknes, NORCE
  • Darren Ghent, University of Leicester
  • Conrad Bielski, Eoxplore
  • Rasmus Erlandsson, NINA
  • Dariusz Ignatiuk, SIOS-KC
  • Shridhar Jawak, SIOS-KC

Target audience

Anyone from terrestrial field scientists, Ph.D. students, researchers and technicians with limited or incomplete knowledge of remote sensing techniques.

Application procedure and tentative timeline

First round: Open to participants from SIOS member institutes

  • Application opens 7 April 2020
  • First round closes 7 May 2020
  • Decision: mid-May

Second round: Open for participants from all institutes (SIOS members and non-SIOS members)

  • Second round opens 7 May
  • Second round closes 7 June
  • Decision: mid-June

For more information, please contact Shridhar Jawak (

Image captured by Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite on July 12, 2003. NASA image courtesy GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.