Ocean-Colour Data in climate studies - NERC Advanced Training course

Monday 18 September 2017 - Friday 22 September 2017

Sentinel 3 satellite in space with earths surface below Image courtesy of ESA

This training course aims to provide PhD students and early career researchers with the fundamentals of ocean-colour satellite data and their applications.

Remote sensing experts from PML will guide students through a combination of lectures and computer-based exercises covering the following topics: 1) Introduction to ocean colour; 2) Modelling primary production; 3) Ocean colour applications for ecosystem state assessment; 4) Climate impacts and feedbacks; 5) Ocean colour in data assimilation; 6) Datasets archive, management, visualisation and analysis.

Training in the MMCDuring the course, students will be exposed to remote-sensing ocean-colour data from the European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (OC-CCI), which provides the most complete, stable, and error-characterized time-series of multi-sensor global satellite data products for climate research and modelling. Students will also be introduced to the latest ocean-colour data products from the OLCI sensor aboard the Sentinel-3 satellite. As part of the computer-based exercises, students will gain experience in the necessary tools for management of large datasets (including handling files in Network Common Data Form NetCDF) and analysis (including interpolation procedures and uncertainty calculations). Students will also have opportunity of informal discussion with instructors outside of the formal lectures. A visit of the NERC Earth Observation Data Acquisition and Analysis Service (NEODAAS) that is hosted at PML will be provided. 

  • ​Tentative schedule can be downloaded from here
  • Download the Ocean-colour data training course flyer from here​ 
  • Live access to course lectures – further information coming soon

This event will be held in the Marine Matters Centre (MMC) at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UK. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Contributions towards course costs, accommodation, meals, and travel are covered (restrictions apply). For information on travel and local accomodation please see the Visit Plymouth Website.


The objectives and learning outcomes of this course are for students to be able to:
• Understand the fundamentals of ocean colour;
• Understand the principles for modelling primary production, for detecting phytoplankton size structure, Harmful Algal Blooms, and for estimating phytoplankton phenology;
• Conduct research with ocean-colour data for ecosystem state assessment, model validation, data assimilation and climate research;
• Plan requirements for large datasets processing, management and archiving;
• Apply tools and statistical methods for visualisation and analysis of ocean-colour data with their associated uncertainty. 

Ocean colour image

Who can apply?

The course is aimed at PhD students and Early Career Researchers who are working in application areas and those who wish to use ocean-colour data and visualization techniques as part of their work. The training initiative will be able to support 20 attendees from the UK, 7-10 attendees from the EU or overseas, and an additional two attendees from overseas POGO-member institutions.

Eligibility and Application:

Your application is only taken into consideration if you meet one of the following criteria: 

A) you are a UK-registered PhD student or early career researcher working in a sector aligned to NERC’s science remit (see http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/portfolio/remit/). To apply please fill-in the online application form, select ‘NERC’ as funding option and include an up-to-date CV. Please submit online application by 30th June 2017.

B) you are an overseas-registered PhD student or early career researcher working at a POGO-member institutions (see http://www.oceanpartners.org/members). To apply please fill-in the online application, select ‘POGO’ as funding option and include a letter of support from supervisor and up-to-date CV. Please submit online application by 30th June 2017. Please note that visa costs and domestic travel in home country are not covered by POGO funding.

C) you are a current or prospective user of Sentinel 3 data based at an institution from the EU or overseas:
To apply please fill in an online application, select ‘Sentinel’ as funding option and include a letter of support from supervisor and up-to-date CV by 30th June 2017. Please note that this funding does not cover visa costs and domestic travel in home country.

Priority selection criteria:

For UK-attendees: UK based PhD students and early career researchers from any UK University and Research Institute may apply, although priority will be given to NERC funded CASE or Doctoral Training Partnership students. For POGO-member institution overseas-attendees: priority will be given to applicants from POGO-member institutions from developing countries, although PhD students and early career researchers based at other overseas-POGO-member institutions may apply. For EU and overseas-attendees: places will be given to PhD students and early career researchers based at any EU or overseas institutions.


Click here to apply online 

Deadline extension - now 30th June 2017. 
(Please note that it is not possible to update your application information after submission. If you wish to change your application details you have to reapply.) 

For any questions please contact: Thecla Keizer (tke@pml.ac.uk)

Organising Committee

Marie-Fanny Racault, PML
Shubha Sathyendranath, PML
Sophie Seeyave, Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), PML 
Ben Taylor, NERC Earth Observation Data Acquisition and Analysis Service (NEODAAS), Plymouth, UK 

Lecturers from Earth Observation and Modelling groups at PML:
Bob Brewin, Stefano Ciavatta, Hayley Evers-King, Thomas Jackson, Trevor Platt, Marie-Fanny Racault, Dionysios Raitsos, Shubha Sathyendranth, Ben Taylor 


This is course is primarily funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC):

With support from:
OceantTeacher Global Academy Logo


Event location: Marine Matters Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, PL1 3DH

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