Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program inRemote Sensing
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About Our Program

In today’s changing world, Earth system research, ranging from terrestrial ecosystem processes to ionosphere dynamics, requires an integrative and broad-scale perspective. At Virginia Tech we address this need through a Remote Sensing graduate program that prepares students not only in the science of the Earth system but also in the engineering, data analytics, and social science perspectives required for the next generation of PhD scientists to work at the cutting edge of scientific inquiry. Our Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program in Remote Sensing prepares scientists who work together to design sensors, analyze data, and engage critical social and policy questions of our time.

Our 15 core faculty span 5 colleges and 9 departments at Virginia Tech:

PhD Fellowships are available with full funding. Please contact us for further information.

Program Requirements

As a graduate student at Virginia Tech, in addition to the Virginia Tech Graduate School requirements for your PhD, there are 4 components to the Remote Sensing IGEP program that are tailored to you. These include courses, seminar participation, advising, and interdisciplinary experience requirements.

Courses

There are 12 credit hours of classes for all Remote Sensing IGEP students (5 mandatory core classes), plus a 1-credit seminar every semester the student is on campus. The remaining credit hours (required for all Virginia Tech students) will be decided by the student and their committee.

Mandatory Classes:

  1. Interdisciplinary Research in Remote Sensing (GRAD 5134)
  2. Remote Sensing Engineering Principles (ECE 5194)
  3. Remote Sensing of Natural Resources (FOR 5254)
  4. Introduction to Science and Technology Policy (STS 5614)

Note that by completing the above coursework requirement, all Remote Sensing IGEP students will automatically qualify for the proposed Remote Sensing Certificate.

Seminar requirement

Every spring, on-campus students enrolled in the Remote Sensing IGEP are required to take the GIS and Remote Sensing (FOR/GEOG 5104, 1 credit hour).

Every fall, on-campus students enrolled in the Remote Sensing IGEP are required to take the graduate schools Remote Sensing IGEP seminar class. This is currently called GRAD 5984 Special Study (CRN 89552).

Advising

You will be strongly encouraged to work with your departmental advisors to find and interact with co-advisors in other departments.

The remote sensing restricted electives, along with any other coursework required to satisfy the home department or the Virginia Tech Graduate School, should be decided through consultation between the student and their advising committee.

Interdisciplinary Experience Requirement

An internship, lab rotation, or similar first-hand experience outside the disciplinary home of the student is required for all Remote Sensing IGEP students.

In addition, all Remote Sensing IGEP students must be conduct explicitly interdisciplinary research for the PhD work.

RS Certificate

This certificate program is open to all Virginia Tech graduate students who meet the certificate requirements.

Note that all of the Remote Sensing IGEP PhD candidates will meet the requirements for this program, as part of their required coursework.

Program Description:

The program requires 10 hours of graduate-level credit to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing from Virginia Tech. At least 2/3 of these courses must be graded A-F. Course credits from below 5000-level courses are not permitted. These four mandatory courses will ensure that all students, regardless of disciplinary background, will be exposed to the same research approach. Further, all students will discuss common scientific and policy issues that have evolved from increasing natural and anthropogenic stresses on the earth system, stresses that are driving research and development in this field. When students finish the course requirements, the oversight committee chair will sign the Course Checksheet. Students will need to submit an Application for Conferral of Certificate form to the Graduate School. Transfer credits are not permitted.

Courses:

Required Courses: (10 mandatory credit hours)

Remote Sensing Engineering Principles

(ECE 5194, I, 3H, 3C)

Remote Sensing of Natural Resources

(FOR 5254, II, 3H, 3C)

Seminar in GIS and Remote Sensing

(FOR/GEOG 5104, II, P/F, 1H, 1C)

Introduction to Science and Technology Policy

(STS 5614, II, 3H, 3C)


Total credits for certificate = 10; No grade below B is accepted

Projects

Our faculty and students have a wide number of research grants and projects that are relevant to the Remote Sensing IGEP. For convenience, we have organized our major efforts according to the following remote sensing themes. Please note that only the remote sensing investigators are listed, although many others are involved in other aspects of this work.

Space Weather

Applications

Natural Resources

Applications

High Performance Computing and Algorithm Development

Computing

Light detection and ranging (lidar)

Cutting-Edge Sensor & Technology Applications

Hyperspectral remote sensing

Cutting-Edge Sensor & Technology Applications

Multi-temporal Analysis

Data Fusion

Remote Sensing & Economics

Stack of books in front of a silver tree sculpture

Social and Cultural Elements of Remote Sensing

Our Amazing Faculty

Randolph Wynne

Professor,
Remote Sensing,
RS IGEP Co-Director

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Wayne Scales

Professor,
RS IGEP Co-Director

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Joseph Baker

Associate Professor,
RS IGEP Associate Director

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Valerie Thomas

Associate Professor,
RS IGEP Associate Director

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Lynn Abbott

Associate Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Scott Bailey

Associate Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Tom Burbey

Professor

Hydrogeosciences

James Campbell

Professor

Geography

Xinwei Deng

Assistant Professor

Statistics

Saul Halfon

Associate Professor

History
Science and Technology in Society

Richard Hirsh

Professor

History
Science and Technology in Society

Kevin Kochersberger

Associate Professor

Mechanical Engineering

Cully Hession

Associate Professor

Biological Systems Engineering

Klaus Moeltner

Professor

Agricultural and Applied Economics

Eric G. Paterson

Department Head

Aerospace and Ocean Engineering

Mike Ruohoniemi

Associate Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Yang Shao

Assistant Professor

Geography

Quinn Thomas

Assistant Professor

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Layne Watson

Professor

Computer Science, Mathematics, and Aerospace and Ocean Engineering

Our Brilliant Students

Our students come from very different disciplines, and are drawn together by an interest in remote sensing and the core requirements of the program.
We are pleased to introduce the cohort for 2015-2016.

Jennifer J. Henderson

Science and Technology in Society

Hoa Tran

Geography

Ranjith Gopalakrishnan

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Katie C. Britt

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
Geospatial and Environmental Analysis

Yu-Ming (Albert) Shen

Statistics

Jie Ren

Geography

Mahmoud Awadallah

Computer Engineering

Sherin Ghannam

Computer Engineering

Jill Derwin

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Cameron Houser

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Samantha Fried

Science and Technology

Augustine Yellu

Electrical Engineering

Garima Malhotra

Electrical Engineering

Rishu Saxena

Computer Science and Application


Our Outstanding Alumni

Adam Oliphant

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Pratik Joshi

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Lonesome Malambo

Geospatial and Environmental Analysis
Biological Systems Engineering

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