SALDi & EMSAfrica Summer School: Remote Sensing Applications in South Africa with Focus on Land Degradation

Course dates
04 - 08 July, 2022

WITS Rural Facility, Acornhoek, South Africa

For application, you need to submit three documents:

  • CV
  • Letter of motivation together with the letter of reference from your supervisor (both documents in one file)
  • copy of your valid passport

Application deadline: The application deadline has expired. All selected candidates will be informed after being reviewed in due time.

Coordinating institution/ university
Department for Earth Observation, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany

SPACES projects
EMSAfrica (Ecosystem Management Support for Climate Change in Southern Africa & SALDi (South African Land Degradation Monitor)

Target group
The course is open to anyone with a basic understanding of remote sensing and great interest in time-series analysis from optical AND radar data. Professional status can be anything from Honours, Master and PhD-students, and early-career researchers to governmental or commercial institutions. Southern African applicants are especially encouraged to participate and they can apply for a slot funded by the German ministry BMBF to cover costs of travel and accommodation. An overall number of fifteen fully funded slots is available (see "Apply Now").

Teaching concept and aims

This course will teach advanced basics of optical and radar remote sensing and showcase applications with a spatial focus on South Africa. During five days, students will receive theoretical knowledge as well as perform practical exercises exploiting Sentinel-1 and -2 data. Students will also receive an introduction to the SALDi Data Cube, which can also be used after the course.

The summer school will utilize a flipped classroom approach for teaching. The concept is simple: each participant is required to complete the EO college "Land in Focus – Basics of Remote Sensing" massive open online course ( before the summer school. This enables attendees to start the summer school lessons based on a basic understanding, making the teaching implementation much more efficient and will lead to a better student experience. After the Summer School, each participant receives a certificate of achievement for successfully completing the SALDi & EMSAfrica Summer School on “Remote Sensing Applications in South Africa with Focus on Land Degradation”.


Important note

Attendees of the summer school are required to bring their own laptops and, ideally, external hard drives to be able to take part in the practical tutorials. The following system parameters are recommended for the hands-on exercises:

  • Processors: 4 cores (64-bit)
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: 128 MB
  • Disc space: 30-50 GB

Course teachers
Prof. Dr. Christiane Schmullius, Dr. Clémence Dubois, Kai Heckel (PhD Student), Paul Renner (MSc Geoinf) Department for Earth Observation, University Jena, Germany
Dr. Insa Otte, Steven Hill (MSc Geogr)
Department for Remote Sensing, University Würzburg, Germany
Dr. Frank Thonfeld, Steven Hill (MSc Geogr)
Earth Observation Center, German Aerospace Center, Wessling, Germany