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CTE/Information Technology Education Curriculum Introduction GIS Remote Sensing
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Core Standards of the Course

Standard 1
Understand Basic Concepts of Remote Sensing.

Objective 1
Understand the big picture context of observing Earth with space-based instruments.

  1. Tell why people use satellites to study the Earth.
  2. Describe aspects of the Earth that can be observed using Earth observing satellites.
  3. Clarify the comparative values of high, moderate and coarse resolution for studying the Earth.
  4. Identify some of the ways people use one kind of satellite system, Landsat, for decision making in the domains of agriculture, climate, disasters, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy, forestry, urban planning, and/or water monitoring and management.

Objective 2
Explain elementary science and technology of remote sensing observations.

  1. Explain how remote sensing uses our knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum.
    • Explain wavelength and wavelength range.
    • Explain how different kinds of surfaces interact with light.
    • Show where infrared light appears on the electromagnetic spectrum.
    • Explain the meaning of “spectral signature.”
    • Define “pixel.”
    • Define “digital image.”
    • Define spatial resolution.
    • Describe the polar orbit of Landsat.
  2. Describe characteristics of passive and active remote sensing systems (such as multispectral, LiDAR and Radar).
  3. Describe the difference between paper, digital, and Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing maps.

Standard 2
Collect Remote Sensing Data.

Objective 1
Locate and download a Landsat scene from one of the two U.S. Geological Survey websites, Global Visualization Viewer (GloVIS) or Earth Explorer.

  1. Name one or more sources of free Landsat data.
  2. Using either GloVIS or Earth Explorer, identify the scene of interest.
  3. Give details about the scene based on the metadata
  4. Determine optimal dates for download.
  5. Download scene.
  6. Open scene in visible and false color band combinations using ImageJ (no cost) or Photoshop.
  7. Optimize image quality.

Standard 3
Landsat Satellite Images - Find Features of Interest and Analyze Patterns.

Objective 1
Become familiar with Landsat satellite images.

  1. Identify land cover types (vegetation, water bodies, cities, suburbs, roads) in a satellite image.
  2. Identify ecosystems in a satellite image (forest, desert, wetland, and glacier).
  3. Identify specific cities, mountain ranges, islands, rivers, lakes, and other geographic landmarks in a satellite image.
  4. Find indications of disease or drought in a forest or agricultural area.
  5. Find evidence of a current or recent fire.

Objective 2
Quantify changes in land cover time using printed images.


Standard 4
Use Remote Sensing Analysis Software (ImageJ).

Objective 1
Download and become familiar with basic tools of ImageJ software

  1. Become familiar with basic ImageJ toolbar.
  2. Understand pixel coordinates and values.
  3. Create and animate an image stack in order to compare the images.

Objective 2
Identify two ways that vector and raster data are different.

Objective 3
Quantify observations of digital images by making distance and area measurements in ImageJ.

  1. Spatially calibrate digital images (set the scale)
  2. Add a scale bar.
  3. Make area measurements.
  4. Perform image classification techniques such as supervised and unsupervised classification on remotely sensed data. [Do if possible with ImageJ; can be done with MultiSpec, also free.]

Standard 5
Explore Careers in Remote Sensing.

Objective 1
Describe at least three careers that employ remote sensing.

Objective 2
Identify education needed to work in a remote sensing field at an introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Objective 3
Identify remote sensing professional organizations and explain how participation in their conferences might support development of a specific career.


Standard 6
Create a Remote Sensing Project.

Objective 1
Identify, plan, complete, and publish a local geo-spatial project.

  1. Identify a local problem to be solved.
  2. Compile background information on the project.
  3. Determine the time, scope, and resources needed for the project.
  4. Draft a work flow document.
  5. Plan a data inventory.
  6. Acquire data, organize, manage, and maintain data files.
  7. Analyze and interpret the information.
  8. Describe accuracy assessments (field data collection, other data collection) required for quality assurance.
  9. Finalize work flow document.
  10. Publish and present the project.


UEN logo http://www.uen.org - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Carl Lyman and see the CTE/Information Technology Education website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - THALEA LONGHURST .  
Email:  thalea.longhurst@schools.utah.gov

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