Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Remote-sensing training course in coastal research and management

A training course on the use of remote sensing techniques in coastal research and management was held at the Faculty of Marine Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 21-26 December 1996. Following are details on the course.

Assessment of the remote-sensing needs of the Gulf States
Background to the training course
Organization of the course
For more information

Assessment of the remote-sensing needs of the Gulf States
The coastal and marine environment are vital to the Gulf States given the important commercial interests in their natural resources. Mineral resources are abundant, but their exploitation presents environmental problems. In the past the fragile coastal zone has suffered from mans activities.
Scientific workers in the Gulf States need to be introduced to remote sensing methods as an aid to their efforts in coastal monitoring and management. The countries in the region have access to three very different coastal environments; along the Gulf, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

Background to the training course
UNESCO has popularized the use of remote sensing in coastal studies for more than ten years by producing computer-based self-tutoring packages. Workshops were held in Nairobi and Dakar in Africa in the early nineties based on these packages. A similar course suited to the needs and conditions in the Gulf States was developed.

The course was intended to raise scientific awareness in the minds of young researchers and to introduce them to remote-sensing techniques used by scientists around the world. Due to its international nature the course was short; six days, each with eight hours of scheduled work. The programme involved lectures, practical sessions and informal tutorials in diverse topics related to the coastal environment.

Organization of the course
The course was organized and run by Dr. Sudarshana from the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing and by Mr. Meshal from UNESCO. The UNESCO regional office for the Gulf States which is in Doha, Qatar, coordinated the course and local support was provided by the host, King Adbulaziz University.
The course was attended by twenty-eight students from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.


  • Review of the principles of remote sensing in the coastal and marine environment with an introduction to the sensors and platforms used.
  • Guiding principles of image processing; data transmission, archive methods, preprocessing, data formats.
  • Remote sensing applied to the coastal environment; sedimentation, detection of changes, pollution, bathymetry, mangroves, coral reefs.
  • Satellite oceanography applied to waves, tides, currents, geoid, heat flux, biological productivity and internal waves.
  • The role of remote sensing in the study of global change.
  • An introduction to new technologies; GIS, artificial intelligence, neural networks.
Field work
  • A brief cruise in the Red Sea; collection of radiance and temperature data.
  • An introduction to computers, digital image processing and interpretation.
  • Preparation, interpolation, rasterization and image formulation of field data.
  • Remote-sensing applications in the coastal environment: case study 1 and 2.
  • Remote-sensing applications in oceanography: case study 1 and 2.
  • The role of remote sensing in global change: case study 1 and 2.
  • An introduction to geographic information systems (GIS). Demonstration.
  • The history and future of satellite oceanography.
  • The problems and potential of data collection and interpretation.
  • The problems and potential for remote sensing in the coastal environment.
  • Human aspirations in satellite oceanography.
  • International programmes and information systems to aid the study of global change.

For more information contact :
Dr. R. Sudarshana
Indian Institute of Remote Sensing
4, Kalidas Road
P. O. Box 135
Dehra Dun 248001
Fax.: (91) 135 65 11 08/65 09 44/65 19 87

UNESCO Coastal Regions & Small Islands Unit
1, rue Miollis
Paris 75732
Cedex 15
Fax.: (33) 1 45 68 58 08
E-mail: csi@unesco.org

Dr. A. Meshal
UNESCO Doha Office
P. O. Box 3945
Fax.: (974) 86 76 44
E-mail: a.meshal@unesco.org
(Doha Office represents UNESCO in: Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates)

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