Understanding Phenology with Remote Sensing [Introductory]

Key Info
Description - a brief synopsis, abstract or summary of what the learning resource is about: 

This training will focus on the use of remote sensing to understand phenology: the study of life-cycle events. Phenological patterns and processes can vary greatly across a range of spatial and temporal scales and can provide insights about ecological processes like invasive species encroachment, drought, wildlife habitat, and wildfire potential. This training will highlight NASA-funded tools to observe and study phenology across a range of scales. Attendees will be exposed to the latest in phenological observatory networks and science, and how these observations relate to ecosystem services, the carbon cycle, biodiversity, and conservation.

Learning Objectives: 
By the end of this training series, attendees will be able to:

  • Summarize NASA satellites and sensors that can be used for monitoring global phenology patterns
  • Outline the benefits and limitations of NASA data for phenology
  • Describe the multi-scalar approach to vegetation life cycle analyses
  • Compare and contrast data from multiple phenology networks
  • Evaluate various projects and case-study examples of phenological data

Course Format: 

  • Three, one-hour sessions

Prerequisites: Attendees who have not completed the course(s) below may be unprepared for the pace of this training.
Fundamentals of Remote Sensing  

Part 1: Overview of Phenology and Remote Sensing

  • Introduction to NASA data and Phenology
  • Land Surface Phenology from MODIS and VIIRS

Part 2: Scales of Phenology

  • Resolving challenges associated with variability in space, time, and resolution for phenology research and applications
  • USA-National Phenology Network (NPN) and The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) 
  • Phenocam: Near-surface phenology
  • Conservation Science Partners

Part 3: Utility and Advantage of Multi-Scale Analysis

  • Field-based phenology and gridded products
  • Case-study examples:
  • Integration of PhenoCam near-surface remote sensing and satellite phenological data
  • Greenwave modeling
  • Urbanization and plant phenology

Each part of 3 includes links to the recordings, presentation slides, and Question & Answer Transcripts.

Authoring Person(s) Name: 
Amber McCullum
Juan Torres-Perez
Authoring Organization(s) Name: 
NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET)
License - link to legal statement specifying the copyright status of the learning resource: 
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic - CC BY 2.0
Access Cost: 
No fee
Primary language(s) in which the learning resource was originally published or made available: 
Also available in - other languages in which the learning resource has been translated or made available other than the primary: 
More info about
Keywords - short phrases describing what the learning resource is about: 
Biodiversity data
Biological data
Ecological processes
Land management
Remote sensing
Research lifecycle
Satellite imagery
Subject Discipline - subject domain(s) toward which the learning resource is targeted: 
Education: Science and Mathematics Education
Physical Sciences and Mathematics: Earth Sciences
Physical Sciences and Mathematics: Environmental Sciences
Published / Broadcast: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Publisher - organization credited with publishing or broadcasting the learning resource: 
NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET)
Media Type - designation of the form in which the content of the learning resource is represented, e.g., moving image: 
Presentation - representation of the particular way in which an author shows, describes or explains one or more concepts, e.g., a set of Powerpoint slides.
Contact Person(s): 
Brock Blevins
Contact Organization(s): 
NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET)
Educational Info
Purpose - primary educational reason for which the learning resource was created: 
Professional Development - increasing knowledge and capabilities related to managing the data produced, used or re-used, curated and/or archived.
Learning Resource Type - category of the learning resource from the point of view of a professional educator: 
Lesson - detailed description of an element of instruction in a course, [could be] contained in a unit of one or more lessons, and used by a teacher to guide class instruction. Example: presentation slides on a topic.
Target Audience - intended audience for which the learning resource was created: 
Citizen scientist
Data manager
Data policymaker
Early-career research scientist
Mid-career research scientist
Research scientist
Technology expert group
Intended time to complete - approximate amount of time the average student will take to complete the learning resource: 
More than 1 hour (but less than 1 day)