Ocean-colour data in climate studies advanced training short course

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General information

The proposed 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 the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (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) Dataset archive, management, visualisation and analysis. 

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.

The course will take place over five days and will be delivered in the Marine Matters Centre at PML. 

Course objectives:  

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 dataset processing, management and archiving;
  • Apply tools and statistical methods for visualisation and analysis of ocean-colour data with their associated uncertainty.


NERC-funded PhD students will be given priority. Additional places will be offered to other PhD students and any early-career researchers who are working in the environmental science field, and wish to use ocean-colour data and visualization techniques as part of their work. There are a maximum of 20 funded places available for UK-based applicants. The course is NERC-funded and contributions towards course costs, accommodation, meals, and travel are covered (restrictions apply).

Course webpage:



Contact Person: Thecla Keizer (tke@pml.ac.uk)


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography", "0542 - Statistics", "0588 - Scientific modelling


Venue: Marine Matters Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Plymouth, PL1 3DH, United Kingdom


Open from
1 Jun 2017 to 1 Jul 2017

Application Procedure:

How to register:

Please use this web link to register for this course (https://registrationpml.wufoo.eu/forms/oceancolour-data-training-course/) and include up-to-date CV.

Deadline for applications now extended to 30 June 2017


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.

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