GEO 324: Remote Sensing of the Environment, Online
Fall 2017: Semester: Syllabus

Instructor, Section 730: Dr. Grant Gunn
Email: gunng@msu.edu
Office: Geography Building, 673 Auditorium Rd, Room 111
Office phone: 517-432-6224
Lab and online office hours: Tuesdays from 10 to 11am in Geography 201
Course site:
FS17-GEO-324-730 - Remote Sensing of Environment 

Syllabus Outline        

Course Description

Course Goals

Course Objectives

Course Requirements and Recommendation

Course requirements: Browser, high-speed internet connection, Microsoft Windows

Course recommendation: Textbook

Course Etiquette

Course Organization

Your instructor, onGEO Staff, and course author

Lessons

Exams

Online labs

Course Policies

MSU privacy statement (and use of course materials)

Academic honesty

Plagiarism

Spartan Code of Honor

Grading

Calculating your final grade

Extra credit

Fall Semester 2017: Schedule

Course Description:

This course develops the basic technical and methodological skills you need to employ various types of remotely sensed, electronic images from airborne and spaceborne platforms as a source of qualitative and quantitative information in any of the landscape sciences (for example, geography, forestry, urban planning, landscape architecture, park and recreation resource management, fish and wildlife management, crop and soil science, geology, archeology, et cetera). Most laboratory exercises will utilize high-resolution aerial imagery, multi-spectral, hyperspectral and microwave acquisitions, and will focus on a) analyzing moderate-resolution, digital satellite imagery, b) thermal imagery analysis and classification, and c) active microwave calibration and analysis. Students will gain familiarization with images and applications involving a wide variety of environments -- urban and rural, residential and industrial, agricultural and forested, et cetera. Most of the imagery will be from Michigan or the American Midwest, but some will familiarize you with land cover types from overseas locations.

Course Goals:

This course presents the basic technical and methodological skills needed to employ aerial images and various types of remotely sensed digital images as a source of qualitative and quantitative information in geography, forestry, urban planning, landscape architecture, park and recreation resource management, fish and wildlife management, crop and soil science, geology, and archeology in various temperature regions. This (online) version of the course is based on the on-campus, lecture version delivered by Drs. Gunn and Lusch.

Course Objectives:

1. Introduce the basic technical aspects of remotely sensed images covering multiple regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, and their interpretation.

2. Teach and develop your ability to interpret important landscape phenomena commonly seen on such imagery.

3. Familiarize you with obtaining and utilizing multispectral, thermal and microwave imagery to understand the phenomena on the Earth’s surface.

Course Requirements and Recommendation:

Course requirements

PLEASE NOTE:
All course emails will be sent to your Michigan State (mail.msu.edu) accounts ONLY
 through the D2L system. You will need to check your Michigan State account at least once a day for emails from your Instructor and Online-Geography staff. If you need to, please set your Michigan State account to forward your emails to an account that you do check frequently.

Course recommendation

Course Etiquette:

An entirely online course is quite different from the traditional courses you have taken at Michigan State University. In an online course, the only contact you are likely to have with your Instructor or with others in the class is through email, discussion boards, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, facebook, et cetera. In general, this system works very well and many students prefer it to a traditional (lecture) class because they can ask questions freely without feeling intimidated. We have also discovered, however, that this same feeling of freedom can be a negative thing, particularly because some students feel they can be rude. We ask that you make a special effort to be respectful in all of your correspondences during this course.

REMEMBER: THE ONLY BASIS YOUR INSTRUCTOR HAS FOR GRADING AND DISCUSSIONS IS THROUGH YOUR WORDS ON A COMPUTER SCREEN. Your Instructor has no other context in which to understand your thinking. Therefore, it is important to be concise, informative, and polite while ‘talking’ with your Instructor and other students in the class.

Course Organization:

While a team of faculty and staff manages the course, an Instructor teaches each section. Moreover, this course is delivered through a series of online lessons and textbook readings. Course assessments are accomplished through online exams (based on online lessons, textbook readings, and labs) and online labs (based on concepts covered in recent online lessons). Self-quizzes are provided for you after many lessons so you can test your understanding of the lesson material.

Your instructor, onGEO Staff, and course author

Dr. Grant Gunn is your course Instructor and course author. He is responsible for the day-to-day management and grading. Dr. Gunn will grade all assignments and assessments, respond to any content questions you may have, answer any questions about how to work through the course, and issue final grades. ALL email correspondence and other forms of communication need to go to Dr. Gunn. Ms. Kelsey Nyland will assist Dr. Gunn in the course.

Dr. Gunn will hold office hours in GEO 201 on Tuesdays at 10:00 - 11:00am for students on/near campus that would like to meet in person.

Beth Weisenborn and Juliegh Bookout are staff members of Online Geography (onGEO) courses at State, so you may receive notices from them occasionally.

Dr. David Lusch, MSU-GEO and MSU RS&GIS, was the original author of the online version of Remote Sensing of the Environment and his content makes up about a third of the material currently presented in this course.

Lessons

This course consists of 16 online lessons (or lectures), 1 activity, and 7 online labs.

Lesson/Lab/Activity

Topic

Optional Readings

Lesson 1A/B

1-A: Course Introduction
1-B: Introduction to Remote Sensing

Lillesand, Ch. 1.1, 2.1 to 2.3, 2.6 to 2.8

Lesson 2

Basic Physics of Radiation, Definitions, and Fundamental Laws

Lillesand, Ch. 1.2 to 1.6, 1.8, Ch. 4.9

Lesson 3

Optical Remote Sensing Platforms and Sensors

Lillesand, Ch. 2.3 to 2.8

Activity 1

Remote Server Logon

--

Lesson 4-A, B

4-A: Color Science
4-B: Photometrics and Photogrammetry

Lillesand, Ch 3.1 to 3.10

Lesson 5-A, B

Visible Interpretation 1
5-A: Elements of Aerial Image Interpretation
5-B: Land Cover / Land Use Classification

Lillesand, Ch. 1.12

Lab 1

Photogrammetry and Image Interpretation

--

Lesson 6-A, B

Visible Interpretation 2
6-A: Agricultural Land
6-B: Urban and Built-up Land

Lillesand, Ch. 1.12

Lesson 7

Visible Interpretation 3: Wildlands

Lillesand, Ch. 4.1 to 4.8, Ch. 4.13

Lab 2

Image Interpretation: Identifying Features of Various Landcover Types

--

Lesson 8

Visible to Mid-infrared 1: Spectral Signatures

Lillesand, Ch. 5

Lab 3

Spectral Properties (Visible to Mid-infrared)

--

Lesson 9-A, B

Visible to Mid-infrared 2
9-A: Sensors, Platforms
9-B: Applications

Lillesand, Ch. 5
Lillesand, browse Ch. 8

Lab 4

Image Corrections

--

Lesson 10

Thermal Infrared 1: Theory and Signatures

Lillesand, Ch. 4.8 to 4.12

Lesson 11

Thermal Infrared 2: Sensors, Platforms, and Applications

Lillesand, Ch. 5 (review satellites with thermal sensors); browse Ch. 8

Lab 5

Image Enhancements and Classification

--

Lesson 12

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)

Lillesand Ch. 6.23 to 6.25

Lesson 13

Active Microwave 1: Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR): Theory and Signal Response

Lillesand Ch. 6.1 t0 6.7, 6.9

Lesson 14

Active Microwave 2: Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR): Sensors, Platforms, and Applications

Lillesand Ch. 6.8, 6.10 to 6.21

Lab 6

Processing and Interpretation of Thermal Infrared Imagery

--

Lesson 15

Passive Microwave 1: Theory Fundamentals and Geophysical Controls on Microwave Emission

Lillesand, Ch. 6.23

Lab 7

Processing and Interpretation of Active Microwave Imagery

--

Lesson 16

Course Review

Online Content

Throughout the lessons, you will be asked to follow supplemental web links and answer associated questions.  The lesson will indicate whether links are required or optional. Required direction boxes will either say "At this time...", and provide you with instructions about further activities, or "A follow-up...", and provide you with further information about a concept introduced in the lesson material. You are required to complete the assignments in each of these direction boxes. Some quiz questions will be derived directly from websites that you are required to visit.

Features such as "A side note…" boxes or the "Above and Beyond" sections are optional. In such cases, exploration of these sites will increase your understanding of the subject matter and may help you with the assessments.

Exams

There will be 4 “examlets” during the session. The examlets are spaced as evenly as possible throughout the course. The purpose of these examlets is to test your understanding of the material from the online lessons AND labs covered.

The dates of the examlets are listed on the course schedule page and calendar. You will be notified of an upcoming examlet on the course announcements page (the week of the examlet). This notification will provide you with information concerning the examlet dates and access times.

Each examlet will be offered during a wide (~24hr +) window (Eastern Time) on dates specified (course schedule page and calendar). You may log into the examlet at any time during that window. Once logged into the examlet, you have a set time limit to complete your examlet and turn it in. Otherwise, your examlet will be submitted by the computer at the time limit and will not allow you to make further changes.

You are expected to treat the online examlets as you would an exam in a traditional lecture class - in other words, no cheating of any kind (including plagiarism). Examlets are closed-book, closed-note, and closed-lesson. Your Instructor and other administrators CAN and DO monitor your examlet logs before, during, and after you have taken the examlet - they can detect patterns consistent with cheating and have the authority to discuss the matter with you immediately and give you a ZERO if they see fit. Once you have turned in your examlet, parts are automatically graded by the computer while other parts are manually graded by your Instructor. Your grades are then uploaded to your personal gradebook (Report tab) in the following days. Official grades, answers, and explanations for the examlet are provided on the course website about 4-7 days following the examlet.

Examlets will consist of mostly multiple-choice, true/false, and written response (short answer, essay, calculations). All examlet questions are selected at random from a pool of questions. All answer options for each question are also ordered at random. Please take note that your examlet is unique and completely unlike any other student's examlet. Attempting to cheat on these examlets is against University/course policy; see the Course Policies section below.

Makeup examlets. Makeup examlets are only allowed in a FEW cases. If the examlet is missed due to an emergency, you must contact your Instructor immediately. Also, a makeup can be scheduled if the Instructor is notified at least ONE WEEK before the examlet date of a scheduling conflict. I cannot stress this enough... you MUST contact your Instructor IMMEDIATELY to set up a makeup examlet. Otherwise, you will miss your opportunity to take a makeup and receive 0 points for the examlet.

Online labs exercises

In addition to the examinations, you will also be required to complete entirely online labs and submit your answers in D2L by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the date specified on the course schedule! Late responses are not accepted; you will receive 0 points. ALL of your lab grades will count toward your final-grade calculation.

As with any course, it is the responsibility of the Instructor to uphold the standards suggested by the grading rubrics provided by the course authors. While your grade is determined by assessing the quality of your lab answers compared to the grading rubric, the grading process is subject to the rigor of the Instructor.

The labs will be based on the lessons and textbook readings you have recently covered. Each lab is worth a variable number of points. Spelling and grammar will count toward your score for written answers. Any form or degree of plagiarism or other forms of cheating will NOT be TOLERATED and will result in 0 points, no questions asked! Labs are independent exercises; you are not to collaborate with fellow students on them. The labs are designed to take approximately 2-4 hours to complete. Although it is possible to complete all labs using a Mac, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND the use of a PC (or at least access to a PC for the monthly password-resetting process).

It is strongly suggested that you start your labs early so that you have enough time to ask your instructor any questions you might have.

Course Policies:

MSU privacy statement (and use of course materials)

From the D2L Help Page (2016):

MSU expects that you will respect the rights of faculty and other students as you participate in the educational process. Participating in an D2L course means that you may have access to personal information and academic work produced by other students and faculty members, such as discussion board postings, drafts of papers and other work produced in the course. Academic norms and MSU policy require that you must not reveal any information about classmates, coursework content, or its authors to anyone outside the course.

Students should be aware that their use of D2L materials and communication tools in a particular course may be observed and recorded by the instructor of that course. These observations and records may include a student's access to online library materials linked through the Desire2Learn course website. Use of these observations and records must conform to the use and release of confidential student records as described in Michigan State University's Access to Student Information. Students may link to library resources directly, without linking through D2L , using the Library website.

ALL of our course material in D2L is copyrighted property of Michigan State University. This means that ALL course material in the course site is protected and, other than one copy of the material for your own personal use, this material should not be distributed or posted in any form.

If material (lessons/assignments/exams/et cetera) from the course site is posted outside of D2L it is considered misuse of the material, therefore, the course staff can give you a 0 (even after the fact) for the assignment from which the material came.


Academic honesty

From Academic Integrity: MSU Policies, Regulations and Ordinances Regarding Academic Honesty and Integrity (Michigan State University's Office of the Ombudsperson, Faculty FAQ, 2016):

Article 2.III.B.2 of the SRR states: “The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards.” In addition, (insert name of unit offering course) adheres to the policies on academic honesty specified in General Student Regulation 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations.

Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, the following are considered academic misconduct: falsification/fabrication, cheating, and sharing work. Specific examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to

Students who violate MSU regulations on Protection of Scholarship and Grades and engage in any type of academic misconduct will receive a failing grade in the course or on the assessment(s).

Faculty are required to report all instances in which a penalty grade is given for academic dishonesty.  Students reported for academic dishonesty are required to take course on the integrity of scholarship and grades and a hold will be placed on the student's account until such time as the student completes the course.  This course is overseen by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a specific type of academic misconduct defined as the effort to fundamentally use someone else's ideas as your own. Studies show that plagiarism is common at most universities, especially in online classes since it is easy to copy directly from the course site (or other websites) and put those exact words, or most of the words, in an answer. When completing written work, including answering essay questions on quizzes/exams and writing assignments, it is essential that you provide references where needed (that is, you properly cite all information that did not come from you) and that your responses are phrased in your OWN, original words. Failure to properly cite course materials (lessons and the textbook, if applicable) and using your own work previously submitted in another course without permission,  are also unacceptable. If your Instructor suspects that part or all of an answer has been plagiarized in any way or form, you will be contacted immediately--plagiarized content is given 0 points.

According to Michigan State University's Office of the Ombudsperson (2016),

Plagiarism may be accidental or blatant or self-plagiarism.  However, students are held to the same standards whether or not they knew they were plagiarizing or whether or not they were plagiarizing themselves or someone else.

It is your responsibility to read and understand course policies (like those provided here) and educate yourself so that you know what actions are considered acts of plagiarism (and academic misconduct, in general). A short quiz about academic plagiarism is located in the Getting Started folder of the course.  We strongly encourage you to read the associated materials and take the quiz prior to beginning the course. Please be conscientious of academic integrity and do not hesitate to contact your Instructor if you have any questions.

Spartan Code of Honor

As a Spartan, I will strive to uphold values of the highest ethical standard. I will practice honesty in my work, foster honesty in my peers, and take pride in knowing that honor is worth more than grades. I will carry these values beyond my time as a student at Michigan State University, continuing the endeavor to build personal integrity in all that I do. (honorcode.msu.edu)

Student conduct that is inconsistent with the academic pledge is addressed through existing policies, regulations, and ordinances governing academic honesty and integrity: MSU Policies, Regulations and Ordinances Regarding Academic Honesty and Integrity.

Any student who commits an act of academic misconduct (including academic dishonesty, violations of professional standards, or falsification of academic records; click here to read the University policy), will be reported to the University via the Academic Dishonesty Report portal. The type of misconduct and penalty, as well as a detailed account of the violation are submitted and will be accessible to the student’s Associate Dean, designee, and Instructor-of-Record.

Grading:

Calculating your final grade

Your final grade will be based on your 4 examlet scores and 7 lab (and 1 activity) scores. Here is the breakdown:

Assessment

Percentage of Final Grade

Lab Assignments (7) and Activity (1)

50%

Examlets (4)

50% (12.5% each)

Final grades will be based on the following STRAIGHT SCALE (that has been specifically developed based on the performance of students in GEO324-v in years past):

Percent

Grade

92.0 to 100.0

4.0

85.0 to 91.9

3.5

78.0 to 84.9

3.0

71.0 to 77.9

2.5

64.0 to 70.9

2.0

57.0 to 63.9

1.5

50.0 to 56.9

1.0

less than 50

0.0

You can view your grades for your assessments by viewing your personal grade report (Report tab).

Extra credit

The Department of Geography will be holding a special event on campus for Geography Awareness Week at 7pm on W, November 7 in Business College Complex Room N130.  We have invited Krista Schlyer to talk about the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Details will be forthcoming as the date approaches.

An additional extra-credit opportunity will be made available in mid-November to be submitted by December 8th at 11:59pm. This option is to be posted to the course’s social media page or submitted to a D2L dropbox. Details will be made available in mid-November.

GEO 324: Remote Sensing of the Environment, Online        Fall Semester 2017: Schedule

Important Dates

M, Sept 4: No Class | M, Sept 25: Last Day for Tuition Refund | W, Oct 18: Middle of Semester | Th, Nov 23 and F, Nov 24: No Class

Geography Awareness Week (GAW) is November 6 to 12.
GAW guest speaker is Krista Schlyer -- 7p on W, November 6 in Business College Complex Room N130.

Week

Date

Lesson/Lab

Topic

Recommended Readings

1

W 8/30

0

Getting Started and Syllabus

--

W 8/30

Lesson 1-A, B

Introduction: Course; Remote Sensing

Lillesand, Ch.1.1, 2.1 to 2.3, 2.6 to 2.8

2

Tu 9/5

Lesson 2

Basic Physics of Radiation, Definitions, and Fundamental Laws

Lillesand, Ch.1.2 to 1.6, 1.8, Ch. 4.9

Tu, 9/5

Due

Entrance Questionnaire (Getting Started)

--

Tu 9/5

Activity Begins

Remote-server Logon

--

3

M 9/11

Lesson 3

Optical Rem. Sensing Platforms and Sensors

Lillesand, Ch. 2.3 to 2.8

W 9/13

Due: Activity (2.5%)

Remote Server Logon

--

4

M 9/18

Lesson 4-A, B

Color Science; Photogrammetry and Photometrics

Lillesand, Ch 3.1 to 3.10

M 9/18

Lab 1 Begins

Lab 1 - Photogrammetry and Image Interpretation

--

5

M 9/25

Lesson 5-A, B

Visible Interpretation 1

Lillesand, Ch. 1.12

W 9/27

Due: Lab 1 (5%)

--

--

EXAMLET

12.5%

Completion Period: Tues 9/26 -Thurs 9/28 - Covers Lessons 1 - 4

6

M 10/2

Lesson 6-A, B

Visible Interpretation 2

Lillesand, Ch. 1.12

M 10/2

Lab 2 Begins

Lab 2 - Image Interpretation 2 – Identifying Features of Various Land Cover Types

--

7

M 10/9

Lesson 7

Visible Interpretation 3: Wildlands

Lillesand, Ch. 4.1 to 4.8, 4.13

F 10/13

Due: Lab 2 (5%)

Lab 3 Begins


Lab 3-Basics of
Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) and Image Properties

--

8

M 10/16

Lesson 8

Visible to Mid-infrared: Spectral Signatures

Lillesand, Ch. 5

W 10/18

Due: Lab 3 (5%)

Lab 4 Begins


Lab 4 - Spectral Properties (Visible to Mid-infrared)

--

9

M 10/23

Lesson 9-A

Visible to Mid-infrared: Sensors and Platforms

Lillesand, Ch. 5

M 10/23

Lesson 9-B

Visible to Mid-infrared: Applications

Lillesand, browse Ch. 8

W 10/25

Due: Lab 4 (7.5%)

Lab 5 Begins


Lab 5 - Image Corrections, Image Enhancements, and Classification

--

EXAMLET 12.5%

Completion Period: Tues 10/24 - Thurs 10/26  Covers Lessons 5 - 8

10

M 10/30

Lesson 10

Thermal Infrared: Theory and Signatures

Lillesand, Ch. 4.8 to 4.12

--

Lab 5 Continues

--

--

11

M 11/6

Lesson 11

Thermal Infrared: Sensors, Platforms, and Applications

Lillesand, Ch. 5 (review satellites with thermal sensors); browse Ch. 8

W 11/8

Due: Lab 5 (7.5%)

Lab 6 Begins


Lab 6 - Processing and Interpretation of Thermal Infrared Imagery

--

12

M 11/13

Lesson 12

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)

Lillesand, Ch. 6.23 to 6.25

--

Lab 6 Continues

--

--

13

M 11/20

Lesson 13

Active Microwave 1: Theory and Signal Response

Lillesand Ch. 6.1 to 6.7, 6.9

W 11/22

Due: Lab 6 (8.75%)

Lab 7 Begins


Lab 7 - Processing and Interpretation of Active Microwave Imagery

--

EXAMLET

12.5%

Completion Period: Tues 11/20 - Thurs 11/22  Covers Lessons 9 - 12

14

M 11/27

Lesson 14

Active Microwave 2: Sensors, Platforms, and Applications

Lillesand, Ch. 6.8, 6.10 to 6.21

15

M 12/4

Lesson 15

Passive Microwave 1: Theory Fundamentals and Geophysical Controls on Microwave Emission

Lillesand, Ch. 6.23

--

Lab 7 Continues

--

--

16

F 12/8

Lesson 16

Course Review

Online Content

F 12/8

Due: Lab 7 (8.75%)

--

--

EXAMLET

12.5%

Completion Period: Tues 12/12 - Thurs 12/14  Covers Lessons 13 - 16

* Exams will run from 8 AM (ET) on the first date to 3 PM (ET) on the second date.
**All Lab Assignments are due by 11:59 PM, ET on the due date provided.