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Teaching in the Desert. Dr. S.D. Gurney


Textbooks for the following Modules

Textbooks for the following modules can be purchased via the Amazon widget


Year 2 Monitoring the Earth from Space (GV2MES)

This module will introduce students to a variety of remotely sensed data and how to turn these data into useful information for a wide range of applications. This module will also develop skills in extracting useful information about the environment from a wide range of Earth Observation data, using industry-standard software tools.

On completion of this module it is expected that a student will be able to describe and explain the physical basis of optical and radar remote sensing, distinguish between and evaluate the main types of remote sensing system, name the most important remote sensing missions, and discuss their utility for environmental monitoring, understand and explain the physical controls over what we can and cannot see in different types of remote sensing images, and recommend appropriate data from specific remote sensing missions for a range of environmental applications. On completion of this module it is expected that a student will also be able to describe and explain the form and structure of digital image data, compare and contrast a range of image processing algorithms, select appropriate techniques to analyze and interpret a range of remotely sensed data, adopt a systematic approach to accuracy, precision and uncertainty, use IT effectively and appropriately to select, analyze, present, and communicate spatial data, and apply basic and more advanced numerical skills effectively and appropriately to spatial data


The module will cover development of remote sensing, aerial photography and stereopsis, the structure of digital image data, electromagnetic radiation and the electromagnetic spectrum, energy-matter interactions, spectral characteristics of vegetation, soils, rocks and water, remote sensing systems, remote sensing platforms, applications in geology, geomorphology, soil science, vegetation monitoring, meteorology and climatology, coastal zone and oceanography. The module will also cover the nature and structure of digital image data, acquiring and importing remote sensing data, contrast stretching and density slicing, false colour composites, vegetation ratios, spatial filtering, image preprocessing, image enhancement, classification, time series analysis, processing of synthetic aperture radar data.


 Year 3 Dryland Environments (GV3DLE)

This module provides a broad-based introduction to dryland environments, covering physical and ecological characteristics, history and prehistory, and contemporary human use. By the end of the module you will be able to account for the importance of drylands from a global perspective, and be able to understand and contribute to the many contemporary debates about drylands, including environmental and geopolitical issues.

The course is a mixture of lectures, seminars and videos. 


If you are registered for the above courses, you can access learning resources by logging in to Blackboard.

In addition, I contribute to the teaching of the Year 2 Fieldclass programme