Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs Workshop

Summer 2019
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Course Dates

The 2019 Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs Workshop will be held at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA in the summer of 2019. Final dates will be announced soon. 

Course Overview

This course is the first professional training course with the aim of providing humanitarian professionals basic skills and knowledge required to use remote sensing technologies, such as satellite and drone imagery, as part of humanitarian operations. The goal of the course is to equip participants with the necessary expertise to manage, design, and utilize remote sensing programs during both natural disasters and conflict-related emergencies.

The Remote Sensing Workshop for Humanitarian Response is a five-day training conducted by the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. The course faculty is experienced in remote sensing for humanitarian response, and has extensive expertise in analyzing data from both satellites and from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in real-world-situations. 


Gregg Greenough, MD, MPH, Research Director, Division of International Emergency Medicine and Humanitarian Programs, Brigham and Womens Hospital; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Nathaniel Raymond, Director, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Isaac Baker, Imagery Analysis Manager, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Faine Greenwood, MA, Research Assistant, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Course Fee

Course fees will cover the workshop, light breakfast, lunch and course materials. Formal confirmation of enrollment will be sent upon receipt of course fees and review of requested registration materials. Please note that registration is not completed and your spot in the workshop is not guaranteed until full payment of the course fee has been received. This workshop is a self-funded program and all participants are required to pay a registration fee. At this time participation scholarships are not available. Please note that accommodations and travel are not included in the course fee.

Special Instructions for International Participants
The Humanitarian Academy at Harvard encourages workshop participation by international guests. If you will be traveling from another country to attend the workshop and will need a visa to enter the United States, then please read carefully the following information

Due to the visa application process, it is recommended that you register for the workshop early. Invitation letters for the purposes of securing a visa will be sent by the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard under only the following conditions:

  • Registration is completed and paid in full.  A credit card or a wire transfer are the only payment methods accepted from international guests.  International checks will not be accepted.  International attendees who select “check” as the payment method will not be registered.
  • Proof of hotel reservations or alternative lodging within metropolitan Boston OR a letter of support from your organization verifying your intent to attend the specified program.

Please note that participants must specifically request a Letter of Support for a Visa application by emailing

Cancellation Policy

  1. Registration may be transferred to a colleague at any time free of charge.
  2. Registration may be deferred to following year’s course, free of charge, up until 30 days prior to the first day of the course. Deferment requests received within 30 days of the start of class will incur a $150 USD fee. Registration can only be deferred for one year, and then the registration will be cancelled and registration fees will be non-refundable.
  3. Cancellation requests received up until 30 days prior to first day of the course will be eligible for a refund minus $150 USD cancellation fee.
  4. Cancellation requests received within 30 days of the start of the course will not be eligible for a refund. 

If course fees have been paid and you require a Visa to attend the class, please notify the course organizers as soon as possible in order to request a confirmation of enrollment letter. If you have paid and subsequently your Visa request is denied, you may transfer your registration to another course at no charge or request a cancellation refund. Cancellations for denied Visas are handled on a case by case basis and you may need to provide proof of Visa denial. 

All cancellation and deferment requests should be submitted to

Course Objectives

At the end of this course the participant will be able to:

  • Understand how satellites and drones are used in humanitarian response.
  • Apply geospatial data to specific humanitarian activities. 
  • Develop geospatial collection and analysis plans for emergencies.
  • Explore the ethical and regulatory issues related to these technologies.

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this workshop is NGO and UN workers, national and local government, and other actors involved in humanitarian response and operations. To successfully participate in the course, we recommend that participants have at least a B2 English language level (CEFR).

Contact Us

All questions, cancellations, and deferment requests should be submitted to: