[Coral-List] New Training on Coral Reef Remote Sensing Now Available

Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Tue Mar 3 08:03:08 EST 2009

NOAA's Coral Reef Watch (CRW) program is pleased to announce a new  
interactive lesson for the Bilko software that teaches users how to  
predict coral bleaching from satellite sea surface temperature data.  
The lesson and software are both available for FREE download at: www.unesco.bilko.org

The interactive training module was developed as part of the education  
and public awareness initiative of the Remote Sensing Working Group of  
the GEF/World Bank Coral Reef Targeted Research program (www.gefcoral.org 
), in collaboration with UNESCO’s Bilko remote-sensing distance- 
learning project.

The step-by-step lesson follows the operational CRW methodology, so  
users will gain in-depth knowledge of how the NOAA data are produced.  
We begin with sea surface temperature (SST) data files derived from  
AVHRR imagery, and leads you through the steps to calculate a long- 
term average temperature and SST anomalies. You will then calculate a  
specialized anomaly, called a HotSpot, that shows areas that are above  
the average temperature for the warmest month of the year. It is these  
areas where corals are under stress and likely to be bleaching.  
Finally, you will look for regions under HotSpot stress for a  
prolonged period, calculating a metric called the Degree Heating Week.  
The number of DHWs show how much thermal stress has accumulated in an  
area over the preceding 12 weeks.

To demonstrate how these satellite data are used in the real world,  
the lesson ends with an activity based on a bleaching event in the  
Caribbean Sea in 2005. You will interpret satellite data to predict  
coral bleaching, then compare your predictions with in situ bleaching  

Bilko is a complete system for learning and teaching remote sensing  
image analysis. Current lessons focus on the application of remote  
sensing to oceanography and coastal management, but Bilko routines may  
be applied to the analysis of any image in an appropriate format, and  
include a wide range of standard image processing functions. Supported  
by UNESCO, Bilko is available to registered users absolutely free and  
is used by thousands of students of remote sensing worldwide.

For more information:
C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

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Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
301-713-2857 x109                   Fax: 301-713-3136

"Now is the time to confront [the climate change] challenge once and  
for all. Delay is no longer an option.
Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high.  
The consequences, too serious."
President-Elect Barack Obama, Nov. 18 2008

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