Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs Workshop

Summer 2020
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Course Dates

The Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs Workshop will be held at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA in Summer 2020.

Course Overview

A tentative course schedule can be found here

This training course provides humanitarian professionals the basic skills and knowledge required to use remote sensing technologies, such as satellites and drone imagery as well as GIS fundamentals, as part of humanitarian operations. 

Remote Sensing Workshop

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 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 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.

Policies and Frequently Asked Questions

For more information and answers to your questions, including payment and cancellation policies, please see a page of frequently asked questions and policies for the course. 

For Registered Participants: Please consult your course Canvas page for a checklist to complete before the workshop begins and further information. You should have received an invitation from Canvas after registration.

Course Fee

Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs Workshop: $1950

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.


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

Rob Baker, 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

Saira Khan, Researcher, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Basic Syllabus

Please note that the following may be finalized differently in 2019. A final syllabus will be sent to participants before the start of the workshop. 

  • Current Uses of Remote Sensing in Humanitarian Operations
  • Remote Sensing in Humanitarian Populations
  • Deployment and Data Responsibility
  • Ethics and Technical Standards
  • Satellite Imagery Analysis: History and Applications
  • Satellite Imagery Collection and Processing
  • Satellite Imagery Analysis Skills
  • UAV Usage and Data Analysis
  • Data Platforms
  • Mapping Data and Mapmaking
  • Product Creation and Release

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: