SA flag Training course on Remote sensing of ocean colour: SA flag
analysis and applications

3-13 December, 2001, Cape Town, South Africa

Photo of UCT

A 10 day training course on the analysis and applications of satellite-derived ocean-colour data will take place from 3-13 December 2001 at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. The course is targeted at young (under 30 years of age), recent postgraduates or scientists from Africa. Coastal upwelling off the west coast of Africa has been chosen as the theme, and the eastern Atlantic Ocean will be the main study area. Applicants for the course will be selected according to their demonstrated ability to be able to transfer their knowledge and skills gained in the course, back to their respective institutions. A number of travel and subsistence scholarships (no per diem) will be available to accepted candidates.

The objectives of the course are to:

  1. Help build capacity in marine satellite remote sensing (particularly in ocean colour) in Africa,
  2. Develop an ocean-colour data set from SeaWiFS for upwelling off the west coast of Africa
  3. Develop new lessons for remote sensing of ocean colour for BILKO
  4. Develop expertise in the use of BILKO and SEADAS software for analysis and application of remotely-sensed ocean-colour data

Course Outline

Topics to be addressed will include the following:
  • Introduction to ocean colour
  • Upwelling processes off southern Africa (Benguela Ecosystem), and western Africa
  • Ocean-colour sensors/platforms
  • Remotely sensed SST and wind (e.g. QuikSCAT)
  • Biological optical properties of sea water
  • Primary productivity, phytoplankton, harmful algal blooms
  • Chlorophyll retrieval algorithms
  • SeaWiFS data
  • BILKO software
  • SEADAS software
  • Atmospheric correction of data
  • Applications of ocean-colour data to fisheries
  • Comparative approach with other upwelling systems


The language of training course will be English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is essential.


The course will be held at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. The Department of Oceanography has access to a well equipped computer laboratory of 15 Pentium III PC's that will have BILKO software. Limited access will be available to SEADAS running on a PC with Linux operating system. Candidates will be housed in University accommodation.


The course will be co-ordinated and sponsored by the International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG), with additional sponsorship from the Partnership for the Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), the IDYLE Project (Interactions and Spatial Dynamics of Renewable Resources in Upwelling Ecosystems) and the University of Cape Town.


Lecturers will be drawn from the IOCCG, the University of Cape Town, the Joint Reseach Center (JRC) and the IDYLE Project.

How to apply

Prospective candidates are requested to submit a brief curriculum vitae, including the names of two professional referees, plus a one-page statement of how they feel they would benefit from attending the course, the suitability of their background and the reason for their interest in the course. Applications should be submitted by email addressed to Professor Frank Shillington (, University of Cape Town, with a copy to Dr Venetia Stuart (, Project Scientist, IOCCG.

Submission deadline: 15 August 2001.

Successful applicants will be notified by 1 November, 2001.