Remote Sensing, GIS and Land Management (AFNR5502)


This unit of study is aimed at advanced techniques in Remote Sensing (RS), linked with Geographical Information Systems (GIS), as applied to land management problems. We will review the basic principles of GIS and then focus on advanced RS principles and techniques used for land resource assessment and management. This will be followed by practical training in RS techniques, augmented by land management project development and implementation based on integration of GIS and RS tools. The unit thus consists of three separate but overlapping parts: 1) a short theoretical part which focuses on the concepts of RS; 2) a practical part which aims at developing hands-on skills in using RS tools, and 3) an application-focused module in which students will learn the skills of how to design a land management project and actualise it using integrated GIS and RS techniques.
Syllabus summary: Lectures will cover: Overview of the basic principles of Geographical Information Science (GISc), Advanced principles of remote sensing, Land resource information and data capture using RS, Digital elevation modelling and terrain analysis using remote sensing; Image enhancement and visualization; Image classification and interpretation; RS data interpretation for land resource inventory; RS and GIS for land use and land cover change analysis; Coupling of models of land resource assessment with GIS and RS. Fifty percent of learning time will be devoted to the design and implementation of projects, which can be selected from GIS and RS applications in: agricultural land management, vegetation studies, water and catchment (hydrological) studies; land-cover and land-use change modelling, pesticide and herbicide environmental risk assessment, environmental impact analysis, land degradation modelling including soil salinity, soil erosion, etc.

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Further unit of study information


3x1-hr lectures/week weeks 1-6, 1x1 project weeks 7-11, 1x1-¿ hour presentation scheduled for weeks 12 and 13, 1x3-hr practical weeks 1-6


1x 30 min presentation (10%), laboratory work reports (40%), Group discussion online (10%), 1x3500w project report (40%)


Textbook: Jesen J. R. 2006. Remote sensing of the environment: an earth resource perspective. 2nd ed. Pearson Prentice Hall Upper Saddle, New Jersey.
Reference Textbook: Rees W.G. 2001. Physical principles of remote sensing. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

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If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.