MB3270/5270: Coastal, Estuarine and Mangrove Ecosystems

September 2023

Earth observation for assessing the status of coastal ecosystems


Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation threaten ecosystems worldwide. Satellite remote sensing has been crucial in documenting these threats, and is a powerful tool for identifying areas undergoing losses. However, existing methods for mapping change typically rely on expert implementation, which is a severe constraint in achieving comprehensive information on the status of the world’s ecosystems. Through practical exercises, this short course will train attendees to the use of remote sensing for mapping habitats and quantifying how they change over time. 

 We will learn to use REMAP (https://remap-app.org), a free, open-source, online remote sensing application funded by Google and developed to provide easy access to the immense capabilities of Google Earth Engine. Remap has been used by more 10,000 people around the world to quickly develop highly accurate maps from Landsat data, identify areas undergoing land cover changes and quantify the amount of habitat loss over a two-decade period. 

Today we will use REMAP to make map classifications of coastal ecosystems, collecting information on the amount of coastal wetland lost and gained, and report back to the group.

Workshop materials

Global Intertidal Change website (www.globalintertidalchange.org)

Remap website (www.remap-app.org

Google sheet for collecting results (link)

Supporting materials

Introduction to Earth Observation and Remote Sening (PDF)

Introduction to Remap (PDF)

Remap tutorials

Remap paper (Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2018)

Tidal flats paper (Nature, 2019)

Global intertidal change paper (Science, 2022)

A presentation about Remap by Dr Nick Murray on Google Earth's youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzN0y884DOs&t=2338s 

Workshop instructions