Environmental Systems Monitoring


The course as a strong section in remote sensing as an essential technique for environmental engineering work. Two working areas (aquatic systems and air quality) are used with the objective of understanding and establish sampling and environmental monitoring plans, a fundamental component in the area of environmental systems.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Francisco Manuel Freire Cardoso Ferreira, Maria Júlia Fonseca de Seixas


Weekly - 4

Total - 91

Teaching language





- Lillesand T.M. & Kiefer R.W., Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation 4th Edition , John Wiley & Sons, 2000  

- Remote Sensing of Environment link  

- IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing link  

- International Journal of Remote Sensing link  

- Dr. Nicholas Short's Remote Sensing Tutorial- NASA link  

- The Science of Remote Sensing- CEOS link  

- Introduction to Radar- Hawaii University link 

- IDRISI Andes link link  

- Tutorial- Laurentian University link  

- UNIGIS Idrisi Resource Center link link  

Directiva-Quadro da Água 

Barnegat Bay monitoring plan - U.S.A.  

Monitoring Plan for Portuguese Coastal Waters - Water Quality and Ecology How things work  

The Doppler effect 

Tillamook Bay monitoring plan U.S.A.  

EU CIRCA documents (including WFD monitoring guidance)  

- American Chemical Society, Principles of Environmental Sampling, ACS Professional Reference Book, 1988. 

 - Berthouex, P. M. and L.C. Brown, 1994. Statistics for Environmental Engineers, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, 335 pp.  

- Davis, J.C., 1986. Statistics and Data Analysis in Geology, 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York.  

- Gilbert, R.O., 1987. Statistical Methods for Environmental Pollution Monitoring, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York. 

- Hereden, R.A., 1998. Ecological Numeracy: Quantitative Analysis of Environmental Issues, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, 331 pp. 

- Lohr, S.L., 1999. Sampling: Design and Analysis, Duxbury Press, Pacific Grove.  

- Ott, W.R., 1995. Environmental Statistics and Data Analysis, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, 313 pp.

Teaching method

Depending of the specific area there would be either a more explanatory or a more exploratory component approach. Homework by small student groups have to be performed. There is a discussion period with research aspect brought by student in every class.

Evaluation method

Three small student group homeworks and one exam.

Subject matter

Fundamentals of electromagnetic radiation. Solar radiation. Interaction processes with the atmosphere. Technological fundamentals: sensors, platforms, and satellites. Basic characteristics of satellite images.  Digital processing of images: geometric and radiometric correction, principal component analysis, vegetation indexes. Classification of satellite images: training areas, classification algorithms. Procedures and strategies for validation.Satellite imagery digital processing and interpretation. Ecological systems monitoring and air quality monitoring. Definition of sampling strategies and detailed procedures including QA/QC. 


Programs where the course is taught: