Monday, September 18, 2023 at 9:00 AM AKDT
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 12:00 PM AKDT

Add to Calendar 


National Park Service Alaska Regional Office
240 W 5th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501


NOAA CoastWatch Team 
NOAA CoastWatch 

NOAA CoastWatch Satellite Course - Alaska - September 2023 

Welcome to the NOAA CoastWatch Satellite Course!

The goal of the course is to familiarize participants with different types of ocean satellite data, different tools, and teach participants how to use satellite data in their own research/work using their choice of software (R, python, ArcGIS/QGIS, Matlab). The course is targeted towards marine scientists and marine resource managers, but is open to anyone interested in learning more about oceanographic satellite data.   

The course will be a mix of lectures, self-paced tutorials, and demos. The course will be conducted in a hybrid format with both online and in-person instruction. We encourage all participants to attend the in-person component in Anchorage September 18-20, 2023, but we will try to accomodate participants who can not attend the in-person component. The course will be limited to 30 in-person participants and 20 remote participants.  

Participants will  work on a short personal project to better assimilate the course contents and leave the class with ready to use scripts adapted to their needs. They will make a short presentation on their project at the end of the course. 

Participants are expected to bring their own laptops with the necessary software installed.

Prior to the 3-day in-person component Sept 18-20, 2023 in Anchorage, Alaska participants are asked to watch narrated presentations covering:

  • remote sensing basics
  • example applications of satellite data
  • sea surface temperature
  • ocean color (chlorophyll, PAR, Kd490, ....)
  • altimetry (sea surface height, currents)
  • wind
  • salinity
  • water quality (optional)
  • sea ice (optional) 
  • synthetic aperture radar (optional)
  • which dataset to choose
  • overview of different tools and platforms to access data

The individual presentations are 10-20 minutes long, and the total length of time to watch all of them is ~3 hours, however some of lectures are optional.

The course also features various tutorials on NetCDF data, Panoply, ERDDAP, R, Python, and ArcGIS. Some basic experience with at least one software is required. It is expected that participants will follow materials for one software, not all of them.

Approximately a week before the in-person training there will be an on-line call for Q & A about the course material and course logistics. The first 2 days of the in-person training will be devoted to questions and answers about the lectures, general discussions, software demos, and one-on-one assistance with the projects.  The third day will be spent finalizing projects, preparing and presenting class projects. Participants will give a short (2 minute) presentation of their project and on what they learned in the course.

Cara WIlson (CoastWatch/West Coast Node and PolarWatch)
Dale Robinson (CoastWatch/West Coast Node and PolarWatch)
Sunny Hospital (PolarWatch) 

For more information about the CoastWatch training resources, you can visit our Learning Portal.