The EO4GEO Summer School “Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing”, was held in Potenza (Italy) in semi-virtual mode from 15 to 17 June 2021. The school was addressed to employees of Local Public Administrations (LPAs), aiming at increasing their level of knowledge of the Earth Observation (EO) fundamentals and their awareness about the potential of satellite-based remote sensing technologies/applications. Together with UNIBAS (member of the Copernicus Academy Network) the school was also supported by CNR-IMAA on behalf of the local Copernicus Relay member TeRN who is an EO4GEO Associated Partner.
Target, Scope, Didactic Concept and Implementation
The technological progress recorded in the latest years, in addition to specific investments at the national/international level in the space economy/sector, like the Copernicus Programme, have enlarged the current capabilities of observing natural phenomena by satellites, in terms of spatial, temporal, and spectral capabilities, allowing for their comprehensive investigation.
LPAs are expected to be among the main beneficiary of the everyday increasing offer of data and services originated by the Copernicus Programme; however, their, not just episodic, but routinely implementation by LPAs is still very slowly growing up. The lack of the basic skills required to appropriately evaluate and to fully appreciate the actual advantages and potentials, related to the integration/substitution of traditional methods with the ones based on EO, has been identified as one of the main limitations of their uptake by LPAs.
The Summer School offered then, to the technical personnel and managers of the LPAs attending to the course, those basic elements of knowledge that actually permit them — going through specific study cases — to fully understand, compare, imagine, the possible advantages coming from the introduction of EO-based solutions in their routinely work. The school offered also the occasion to discover the unique role of available long-term global EO dataset to evaluate historical variations.
Moreover, the school had the ambition to increase the motivation toward the use of EO-based technologies providing a basic, non-trivial, education on EO related physical principles, technologies and applications.
The main challenge, very well supported by the available EO4GEO tools, has been to well calibrate suitable contents in a relatively short course time.
Structure, Design and Content of the Summer School: the EOGEO Tools (Body of Knowledge (BoK)+ Curriculum Design (CD))
The selection of Summer School concepts was fully based on the EO4GEO BoK. Its organization in different modules and study cases was easily made by using the EO4GEO CD Tool, as shown in the figure below.
Most of the training materials was provided using and extending EO4GEO resources.
Basic knowledge was available by participants through one of the main products of the project, the Body of Knowledge — BoK, which collects all the notions/topics about Earth Observation and Geo Informatic (EO*GI) study areas. Besides providing description, insights and references related to principal topics of the course, the BoK was useful also for the UNIBAS staff, in the planning phase, to set the basic contents of the course, facilitating the choice of topics and helping to develop interconnections between contents.
Additional and more extensive material was provided using the EO4GEO Training Material Catalogue, in particular an on-line course by UNIBAS “Fundaments of optical remote sensing”, and through the Moodle platform, in which new training material specifically developed was collected and made available.
Besides the up-skilling and re-skilling of employees, the school was a good occasion to establish a direct link between potential service providers (i.e., UNIBAS students and researchers) and LPAs users. During the course, tools and resources developed in the framework of the EO4GEO project were tested, proving useful for achieving the school goals.