MOOC: Geospatial applications for disaster risk management

Source(s): United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific
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The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and the Pacific (Affiliated to the United Nations) are launching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Geospatial Applications for Disaster Risk Management”. This MOOC is a free and flexible online training programme available to everyone who wants to enhance their capabilities related to the use of geospatial and Earth observation technologies in disaster risk management. During the challenging times of the COVID-19 outbreak, MOOCs are an effective way of reaching a large number of participants to share knowledge.

The proposed MOOC aims to strengthen efforts of disaster management professionals to contribute to achieving the targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement stemming from the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Participants in the MOOC will:

  • Access to experts from institutions and practitioners around the world
  • Networking with a global network of experts and policymakers 
  • Insight into international frameworks related to disaster management, sustainable development and climate change from organizations such as the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and mechanisms like the International Charter ”Space and Major Disasters”
  • Unleash the potential of open datasets and tools needed for disaster risk management
  • Access to the methodologies for effective utilization of space-based and other geospatial information for disaster risk reduction and emergency response

Course content

Track 1: Basic Module

Basic course suitable for non-experts (a person without professional or specialized knowledge of the subject)

This track aims at imparting basic knowledge on disaster risk reduction, remote sensing, and geospatial technologies with few assignments and targets.

The participants need not have specific knowledge or expertise is in the areas of disaster management, geospatial technologies, or Earth observation to complete Track 1.

Remarks by Dr. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, UNOOSA

Remarks by Dr. K. Sivan, Chairman, ISRO

Introduction to Track 1: Dr. Prakash Chauhan, Director, CSSTEAP

Module 1: Overview of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and the

The relevance of Geospatial Technologies

  • Session 1: Overview of disasters, causes and impact – Dr. Sanjay Srivastava, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Thailand

  • Session 2: Concept of DRM, disaster management terminologies, methods and tools – Prof. Talbot Brooks, Delta State University, USA

  • Session 3: International cooperation for promoting space technologies in disaster management – Dr. Shirish Ravan, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Austri

  • Module 1 Self-assessment

Module 2: Earth observation and disaster management

  • Session 4: Geospatial technologies to support disaster risk management – Dr. SP Aggarwal, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, ISRO, India

  • Session 5: Earth observation systems for disaster management – Dr. Valerie Graw, Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB), Germany

  • Session 6: National/regional disaster support systems/mechanisms:

    • International Charter Space and Major Disasters: Jens Danzeglocke, German Aerospace Center

    • Copernicus EMS (ESA): Dr. Annett Wania, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

    • India Disaster Management System: Dr. P.V.N. Rao, National Remote Sensing Centre, ISRO, India

  • Module 2 Self-assessment

Use cases

Case 1: Landslide hazard mapping – Dr. P.K. Champati Ray, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, ISRO, India

Case 2: Flood hazard mapping – Mr. C.M. Bhatt, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, ISRO, India

Case 3: Use of very high-resolution satellite images for post-disaster damage assessment – Mr. Abhineet Jain, MAXAR

Case 4: Case study on assessment – Dr. Stefan Kienberger, University of Salzburg, Austria

Track 2: Advanced Module

Applications of earth observation and other space technologies in disaster management

The participants who have completed Track 1 successfully can access Track 2, which is more technical and aims at developing the skills of the participants in the use of Earth observation in assessing various disasters.

Introduction to Track 2: Dr. Shirish Ravan, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

Module 3: Earth Observation and Geospatial-Intelligence for Disaster Management

  • Session 1: Fundamentals of remote sensing, Overview of EO systems and data availability – Ms. Shefali Agrawal, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, ISRO, India

  • Session 2: Geospatial intelligence for crisis management – Prof. Talbot Brooks, Delta State University, USA

  • Assignment: Open source Earth observation data and software (weblinks to UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal, Copernicus Open Access Hub, etc.)

  • Module 3 Self-assessment

Module 4: EO system and Hydro-meteorological disasters

  • Session 3: Flood mapping, monitoring, and modeling – Dr. KHV Durga Rao, National Remote Sensing Centre, ISRO, India

  • Session 4: Drought mapping, monitoring & forecasting – Dr. Giriraj Amarnath, International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka

  • Assignment: Links to the UN-SPIDER Recommended Practices for flood and drought mapping (UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal, IIRS)

  • Module 4 quiz

Module 5: EO system and geological disasters

  • Session 5: Landslides mapping and monitoring – Dr. D.P. Kanungo Central Building Research Institute, India

  • Session 6: Earthquake-induced post-disaster damage assessment – Dr. P.K. Champati Ray, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, ISRO, India

  • Assignment: Links to the UN-SPIDER Recommended Practices for landslide and earthquake damage assessment (UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal, IIRS)

  • Module 5 Self-assessment

Module 6: EO system and environmental disasters

  • Session 7: Forest degradation and forest fire monitoring and damage assessment – Dr. Arijit Roy, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing of ISRO

  • Session 8: Land degradation and soil erosion assessment and monitoring – Dr Ajai, Space Applications Centre, ISRO, India

  • Assignment: Links to the UN-SPIDER Recommended Practices for landslide and earthquake damage assessment (UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal, IIRS)

  • Module 6 Self-assessment

Concluding session: Take away from the MOOC sessions from key persons

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