Inti Luna Aviles - Responsible of Remote Sensing and GIS Unit at Nicaraguan Sugar Mill and Consultant for Environmental NGO’s
If time is a constraint and you still want to learn from one of the best Universities in the field of remote sensing and GIS I will definitely recommend this course! This course gives you fundamental knowledge and principles that help you understand and develop critical analysis thinking at a later stage.
About the methodology, the course was divided in units and there is always a theoretical and learning by doing part to help you better understand the concepts and principles. For me, I really need to get a practical understanding to process all the new information. I enjoyed the projects or case studies, because many times we have to work in teams and since my colleagues come from many countries and backgrounds. This project method just adds a lot to the learning process and network, especially in the more advanced modules in which your start putting all the knowledge together and you have to figure out your own way. To realize that there is more than one way of solving a problem and understand the reasons why we chose one methodology over the other aware of its limitations was really an added value for my career. In a nutshell, I really appreciate how ITC professors are promoting critical thinking.
Some of the projects I worked during this course were:
- Understanding wild forest fires in Nicaragua and Costa Rica using MODIS data.
- Land use classification of Enschede, Netherland.
- Algae blooms at lake Naivasha , Kenya. This was my favourite one!
When I decided to take the course, I had no job but it was clear for me that I had to improve my understanding in certain RS processes and learn tools to solve problems in a more efficient manner. As a result, two months before finishing the last module I got an interesting job as the person in charge to coordinate a unit focusing in using Remote Sensing and GIS technology and methods to improve crop productivity and efficiency of natural resources and agricultural inputs in Nicaragua.
Farmers, environmental organizations and the government need the best information to make difficult decisions that range among when to harvest or water plants, which areas are key to protect and where certain water infrastructure is required to provide safe water to populations. All these decisions are based on data and this course provided me with more and better data quality and analysis than before which can have a great impact in my country.
If you doubt about the course, I would say that if you want to understand better the concepts and get to know some practical tools, this is an excellent opportunity!