NASA Remote Sensing Hydrology Workshop

April 4 - 6, 2017

CUAHSI, Boston, Mass.

CUAHSI is pleased to partner with NASA to offer the NASA Remote Sensing Hydrology Workshop, a 3-day workshop focusing on the applications of NASA satellite observations for terrestrial hydrology.

Due to the high volume of responses received for the workshop, we are no longer accepting applications.

A very limited number of student travel grants are available on a first come, first served basis to help defray the cost of travel to this course. Contact Elizabeth Tran at for more information.

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Course Description:

Satellite observations have revolutionized our understanding of hydrology, water availability, and global change, while catalyzing modern advances in weather, flood, drought, and fire prediction. Earth-observing satellites provide “big-picture” spatial coverage for hydrological sciences, as well as the regional-to-continental scale understanding essential for improving predictive models and informing policy-makers, resource managers, and the general public. Over the next 5 years, NASA will enter a proverbial “golden age” of terrestrial water cycle observations from space. By 2021, there will be an unprecedented stream of concurrent observations from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, the current and future Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE and GRACE-FO) missions, and eventually the Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) and ECOstress missions. As we look ahead, these satellites will soon provide routine global monitoring of all stocks and fluxes for continental to regional-scale hydrology, improving estimates of changing water resources and provide opportunities for new scientific understanding. Taken together, these measurements will enable improved characterization of terrestrial, atmospheric, cryospheric, and oceanic water budgets at multiple scales and will allow for evaluation of their responses to climatic variability. [from Famiglietti et al., 2015 Science]

In this course, we invite graduate students to learn the practical uses and limitations of a suite of existing and future NASA satellite hydrology data products from the SMAP, GRACE and SWOT (expected 2020) missions. Lectures will provide students the opportunity to understand how the satellites function and obtain data, and will discuss through various examples the proper use and caveats associated with each data product. Also the use of model outputs from NASA's NLDAS and GLDAS frameworks and the RAPID routing model will be discussed. The 3-day workshop will provide the opportunity students to interact with some of the data sets first hand, within the context of small-group projects.

Learning Objectives

1) Understand the background of SWOT, SMAP, and GRACE observations for hydrology applications, how they are (or will be) produced and their unique caveats.

2) Develop the ability to download, analyze and visualize these data sets in the context of hydrologic problem solving.

3) Complete a small group project that demonstrates proficiency in the use of each product for hydrology.

Workshop Eligibility and Requirements

Due to the high volume of responses received for the workshop, we are no longer accepting applications.

Workshop Eligibility:

Due to the expected high demand for this workshop, applicants must apply to attend the workshop. Applications will be accepted from current and incoming graduate students, post-docs, academics, and professionals within the hydrology field. Instructors will review applications to verify in advance that the applicant has the necessary skills and experience to successfully participate in the workshop and get the most out of the course topics.


  • Participants must have experience using coding/scripting data analysis tools and must be able to work in MatLab, Python, or R. GIS experience alone is likely not sufficient.
  • Participants must bring own laptops loaded with their preferred programming environment (MatLab, Python, or R).

  • When

  • Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - Thursday, April 6, 2017
    8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Eastern Time

  • Where

    150 CambridgePark Drive
    Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140

  • Capacity

  • 25 (0 remaining)


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