The scientific workshop gathered over 100 participants from countries around the world for the discussion of Earth Observation applied to extreme events and sustainable development. The recordings of the event are now available. Additional content will be uploaded soon. Please check back for more information, or contact us if you would like to learn more about the event or content shared.

Quick links:


  1. Thomas Adams (USAID). USAID perspective: EO data in disaster response

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2. Pelagio Maxlhaieie (University of Coimbra). Cyclone Idai and a Mozambique use case

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3. George Huffman (NASA). Overview the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission and Products

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4. Andrea Portier (SSAI / NASA). GPM Applications

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5. Vasco Mantas (University of Coimbra). IMERG and Cyclone Idai

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6. Lisa Landuyt (VITO). Flood extent mapping using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data

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7. Zhong Liu (George Mason university and NASA). Data access and expedite visualization tools

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8. Neide Areia (CES – Centre for Social Studies). Earth Observation data for the Social Sciences

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When: December, 7, 2021, Fully online event at AGU Fall Meeting 2021

*This workshop was one of the select online AGU workshops that was held the week prior to the Fall Meeting. See AGU Session Formats for more information.

Session: SCIWS4

Summary: National and regional disaster response and recovery efforts can be informed and enhanced through the integration of Earth Observation (EO) data. Measurements collected from missions operated by agencies around the world (e.g. Landsat, GPM, Sentinel) support spatially explicit analyses of risk and impacts, including in countries with limited monitoring networks in place.

However, identifying and using adequate datasets as an increasing number of online portals, missions, and products are available, can be a daunting task. Language and technological barriers can create additional challenges to the successful uptake of relevant products.

In this workshop, which will take place at AGU’s Fall Meeting, participants will be introduced to a curated set of available datasets and state-of-the-art methodologies including a demonstration of hands-on applications across several phases of the disaster cycle.

A follow-up program will be available to participants until February 28th 2022 to support the application of newly acquired concepts to real-world applications. The program is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Intended audience: Novice and intermediate users of Earth Observation imagery with or without previous experience but interested in integrating these data into science and applications. Decision-makers and managers are also encouraged to register for an overview of the potential of Earth Observation solutions in challenging settings.

Cost: Registration fees at AGU Fall meeting and the workshop apply. Participants from low-income and lower-middle income countries (see list here) can register for free.

Registration: Please visit the meeting’s official website for more information.

The event is organized by Vasco Mantas (U. Coimbra), Andrea Portier (SSAI/NASA), Zhong Liu (GMU/NASA), and George Xian (USGS).

Agenda (may be adapted as needed):

All times CST

Block 1, refreshing concepts and framing the problem:
08:00 – 08:05: Introductory remarks
08:05 – 08:25: Refreshing Earth Observation fundamentals. (Sean McCartney)
08:30 – 08:45: Cyclone Idai and the Mozambican use case (Pelágio Julião Maxlhaieie)
08:45-09:00: USAID perspective: EO data in disaster response (Thomas Adams)

Block 2, precipitation estimates and flood mapping:

Block 2, precipitation estimates and flood mapping:
09:05 – 09:20: Overview the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) and Products (George Huffman)
09:20 – 09:40: GPM Applications (Andrea Portier)
09:40 -10:05: The Integrated Multi-satelitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) algorithm product and Cyclone Idai use case (Vasco Mantas)
10:05 – 10:25: Fundamentals of SAR remote sensing (Stian Anfinsen)

10:25 – 10:50: Flood extent mapping using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data (Lisa Landuyt)

10.50-11.00: Break

Block 3, impacts on land and people:
11:00 – 11:30: Land cover change detection using Landsat (George Xian)
11:30 – 12:15: Data access and expedite visualization tools (Zhong Liu)
12:15 – 12:45: Earth Observation data for the Social Sciences (Neide Areia)

12:45 – 13:30: Breakout rooms (Arrange by topics)

Precipitation Estimates
Land Cover
Integrating social data

13:30 – 14:00: Q&A, user survey, and further resources (website, follow-up program)

Speakers (in alphabetic order):

  • Thomas Adams, USAID / Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), USA
  • Stian Anfinsen, NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Norway
  • Neide Areia, Centre for Social Studies – CES, Portugal
  • George Huffman, NASA, USA
  • Lisa Landuyt, VITO, Belgium
  • Zhong Liu, George Mason University and NASA, USA
  • Vasco Mantas, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Pelagio Maxlhaieie, University of Coimbra, Mozambique
  • Sean McCartney, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. and NASA / ARSET, USA
  • Andrea Portier, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. and NASA, USA
  • George Xian, US Geological Survey EROS, USA

Contact us:

Contact points:

vasco.mantas /at/ or andrea.m.portier /at /

You can also use our contact form.