NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training (ARSET)

ARSET Disasters Training:

The ARSET program offers satellite remote sensing training that builds the skills to integrate NASA Earth Science data into an agency’s decision-making activities. Trainings are offered in air quality, climate, disaster, health, land, water resources, and wildfire management. Through online and in person training, ARSET has reached over 32,000 participants from 174 countries and more than 7,500 organizations worldwide. 

Through ARSET trainings, you can learn how to: 

  • use NASA data for environmental management
  • search and access NASA resources relevant to your needs
  • visualize, interpret, and apply remote sensing data and imagery

If you or your organization is interested in suggesting a training topic or hosting a training, please contact us.

If you would like information on upcoming workshops and project activities please sign up for the ARSET listserv.


Upcoming Training Sessions

MODIS to VIIRS Transition for Air Quality Applications

Thursday, October 22, 2020

With the end of the MODIS data record approaching, it is important that current MODIS users transition to VIIRS data and visualization tools. As they make this transition, users also need information regarding which MODIS geophysical parameters will be available with VIIRS and vice-versa, and the differences between them.

This training will teach users how to access VIIRS data products, the differences involved in using VIIRS as opposed to MODIS, and how to apply VIIRS aerosol optical depth observations for air quality applications.

The same session will be offered at two different times of day. Participants need only to register and attend one session.

Register for Session A: 09:00 - 10:30 EDT (UTC-4:00)

Register for Session B: 16:00  - 17:30 EDT (UTC-4:00)



Past Training Sessions

Discover NASA’s Near Real-Time Data using LANCE

Friday, February 14, 2020, 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST

NASA is well known for providing high quality satellite data for long-term science research, but application users, operational agencies, and even researchers often need data much sooner than routine science processing offers.

Since 2009, NASA’s Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) has provided data and data products generally within three hours of satellite instrument observations. The more than 200 Near Real-Time (NRT) data products available through LANCE, along with the services and data distribution strategies developed by the LANCE team, have helped transform how Earth-observing data are used. As the LANCE celebrates its tenth anniversary, this webinar provides an opportunity to look back on its history, accomplishments, and provide users with an overview of the what is available.

Join us as we provide an overview of LANCE by answering the following questions: what is LANCE, why was it started and what near-real time data does it provide? How are LANCE data expedited? What is the difference between NRT data and the standard quality products that NASA makes available? How can I access LANCE data and Imagery? Who uses LANCE and what for?

Learn more and register here

Advanced Webinar: Applications of GPM IMERG Reanalysis for Assessing Extreme Dry and Wet Periods

Date Range: January 28, 2020. January 30, 2020. February 4, 2020.

Times: 10:00-12:00 & 16:00-18:00 EST (UTC-5)

Registration Closes: Tuesday, February 4, 2020

It is well recognized that long-term precipitation measurements are necessary for understanding and monitoring regional precipitation characteristics. This includes characteristics crucial for monitoring water resources and hazards, like floods and droughts. TRMM was the first NASA mission dedicated to observing precipitation. It operated from November 1997 to April 2015. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission launched in February 2014 as a follow-on to TRMM. Both TRMM and GPM satellites, together with additional national and international satellites, were used to produce multi-satellite products such as TMPA and IMERG. Until recently these two separate products covered different time periods. There was a lack of long-term, continuous, precipitation time series. 

Recently, GPM-IMERG retrospectively analyzed TRMM-TMPA data to produce a consistent, combined precipitation time series from 2000-present. This extended IMERG data product is available at half-hourly resolution and 0.1x0.1 degree spatial resolution. The product will be useful for deriving long-term mean precipitation as reference. It will also help with monitoring extreme precipitation at regional scale.

Past ARSET trainings on water resources and flood management covered TMPA and IMERG data and their applications in detail. This advanced webinar will focus on analysis and interpretation of the new long-term IMERG data, focused on extreme dry and wet period monitoring and management. The webinar will include lectures and hands-on exercises to derive regional precipitation statistics.

Learning Objectives: 

By the end of this training, attendees will be able to: 

  • Derive regional precipitation statistics (mean, standard deviation, anomalies, percentile values) 
  • Calculate and interpret the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) for assessing extreme dry and wet periods

Learn More and Register Here

Advanced Webinar: SAR for Disasters and Hydrological Applications

Date Range: December 3, 2019. December 4, 2019. December 5, 2019.

Times: 10:00-12:00 EST (UTC-5)

Registration Closes: Thursday, December 5, 2019

This training builds on the skills taught from previous ARSET SAR trainings in terms of the use of Google Earth Engine for flood mapping of radar data. This training presents two new topics; the use of InSAR for characterizing landslides and the generation of a digital elevation model (DEM).

Learning Objectives: 

By the end of this training, attendees will be able to:

  • Create a flood map using Google Earth Engine
  • Generate a map characterizing areas where landslides have occurred
  • Generate a digital elevation model (DEM)

Learn more and register here


NASA Direct Readout Conference (NDRC) Webinar Series: Real-time Volcanic Cloud Products for Aviation Alerts

Date: September 4, 2019

Time: 11:00 a.m. EDT (15:00 UTC)

The NDRC webinar series provides a venue for awareness and exchange of remote sensing science research and corresponding RT/NRT applications using Direct Readout and other low latency Earth observation capabilities. The series focuses on NDRC-9 themes, topics and priorities, including updates on relevant science, algorithms, technologies, applications and systems. The frequency and topics of webinars in this series will be based on input articulated by interested participants. Presentations, action items, and relevant meeting notes will be published on the NASA DRL Web Portal.


  • Purpose and objectives of this effort related to NDRC, and relevant updates by Brad Quayle (USDA FS GTAC)

  • Real-time Volcanic Cloud Products for Aviation Alerts by Dr. Nickolay Krotkov (NASA/GSFC).

    • Ingesting Direct Readout satellite volcanic cloud data is vital for improving reliability of volcanic ash forecasts by Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers (VAACs) and mitigating the effects of volcanic eruptions on aviation and the economy. In this presentation, the availability of an expedited distribution of satellite UV-based volcanic SO2 and Volcanic Ash (VA) data to decision support systems and end users will be discussed. This effort is a result of a partnership between GINA/UAF, NASA Direct Readout Laboratory (DRL), NASA OMI and OMPS ozone processing team, and Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). The OMPSnadir software package is integral to the system and processes direct broadcast SNPP/OMPS data to produce volcanic SO2 and ash data in real time. The system runs operationally within the DRL's International Planetary Observation Processing Package (IPOPP) environment at both GINA and FMI. Together, these two ground stations provide nearly complete coverage of the Arctic, while DRL delivers the IPOPP applications framework that is also available to the broader low latency data user community worldwide. Ongoing system enhancement efforts include extending real-time VA and SO2 monitoring to night-time periods based on Thermal Infrared (TIR) data, and improvement of the accuracy of UV-based SO2 and VA retrievals.

  • Meeting Wrap Up and Planning for Next Webinar by Brad Quayle.

    • Identify potential topics and presenters for the next webinar. We value your feedback as we evaluate future software technologies and algorithms, and prioritize resources accordingly to meet the needs of the global user community. 


  • The NDRC webinar series is free, but registration is required and participation is limited. Preference will be given to organizations that facilitate decision support systems, other applications of Earth observation data that provide societal benefit, and end users of such systems and applications.
  • Visit this webpage to register.


Introductory Webinar: Earth Observations for Disaster Risk Assessment & Resilience

Examples of NASA Earth Observation data

Date Range:  August 6, 2019. August 8, 2019. August 13, 2019. August 15, 2019.

Times: 10:00-12:00 EDT (UTC-4) and 15:00-17:00 EDT (UTC-4)

Registration Closes: Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Register Here

According to a UN report1, between 1998 and 2017, the U.S. alone lost USD$944.8 billion from disasters. Between 1978 and 2017, losses from extreme weather events rose by 251 percent. It is critical to develop disaster management strategies to reduce and mitigate disaster risks. A major factor in regional risk assessment is the evaluating the vulnerability of lives and property to disasters. Environmental information about disasters, their spatial impact, and their temporal evolution can plan an important role as well.

This webinar series will focus on Earth observation (EO) data useful for disaster risk assessment. The series will cover natural disasters including tropical cyclones, flooding, wildfires, and heat stress. The training will also include access of socioeconomic and disaster damage data. Sessions 3 & 4 will cover case studies and operational applications of EO for disaster risk assessment.

Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goal: Target 13.1: Strength resilience & adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.

Economic Losses, Poverty, and Disasters 1998-2017

Course Agenda: 


  • Part One: NASA Remote Sensing and Socioeconomic Data for Disaster Risk Assessment: In this part, attendees will learn basic concepts and definitions in disaster risk management. Attendees will also learn about the types of satellites and socioeconomic data available through NASA for disaster risk management. 
  • Part Two: Assessing the Risk of Floods and Cyclones Using NASA Data: In this part, attendees will learn a methodology for analyzing remote sensing and socioeconomic data to assess flood and cyclone risk. Examples will be shown for an urban area (Houston, TX, USA) and a country (Mozambique). These case studies will use both historical and forecast data.
  • Part Three: Disaster Risk Assessment Case Studies Using Remote Sensing Data: This part will cover two case studies for using remote sensing data. One on how New York state is using NASA data for heat wave risk assessment, another on the freely available online tools from the World Resources Institute for visualizing NASA remote sensing and socioeconomic data. 
  • Part Four: Operational Application of Remote Sensing for Disaster Management: In this part, the Pacific Disaster Center will describe the data, applications, and strategies they use for disaster risk reduction, response, and relief operations.

Learn More and Register Here

Intermediate Webinar: Remote Sensing for Disasters Scenarios

Date Range:  Tuesdays, April 16, 2019. April 23, 2019. April 30, 2019.

Times: 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00 EDT (UTC-4)

Registration Closes: Monday, April 15, 2019

Register Here: 

According to the WHO, every year disasters “kill around 90,000 people and affect close to 160 million people worldwide.”1 This training will show participants how remote sensing data can support disaster-related efforts. NASA data can help decision-makers better characterize disasters and support relief. Each session will cover a different disaster and its supporting data. Disaster scenarios will include tropical storms, flooding, earthquakes, and landslides.

Learning Objectives: 

By the end of this training, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify NASA data products to support disaster assessment and decision-making
  • Understand the different data products available and their shortcomings
  • Access and interpret data covered in sessions

Course Format: 

  • Three, two-hour sessions that include a 30 min Q&A session
  • Session A will be broadcast in English, and Session B will cover the same content in Spanish
  • A certificate of completion will also be available to participants who attend all three sessions and complete two homework assignments, which will be based on the webinar sessions. Note: certificates of completion only indicate the attendee participated in all aspects of the training, they do not imply proficiency on the subject matter, nor should they be seen as a professional certification).



Disaster management agencies including domestic and international government agencies (e.g. FEMA and equivalent government organizations outside the U.S.) as well as aid organizations (e.g. Red Cross, UN). Professional organizations in the public and private sectors engaged in disasters management and monitoring will be given preference over organizations focused primarily on research.

Registration Information: 

There is no cost for the webinar, but you must register to attend the sessions. Session A will be broadcast in English, and Session B will contain the same material broadcast in Spanish. Professional organizations in the public and private sectors engaged in disasters management and monitoring will be given preference over organizations focused primarily on research.

Course Agenda: Agenda.pdf

Session One: Tropical Storms

April 16, 2019: This session will provide a summary of the data products available to characterize tropical storms before, during, and after landfall.

Session Two: Flooding

April 23, 2019: This session will provide a summary of the data products available to characterize floods during and after an event.

Session Three: Landslides and Earthquakes

April 30, 2019: This session will provide a summary of the data products available for risk assessments of landslides and post-event landslide and earthquake assessment.


Advanced Webinar: Radar Remote Sensing for Land, Water, & Disaster Applications

Dates: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 to Thursday, August 16, 2018

Times: 10:00-12:00 and 18:00-20:00 EDT (UTC-4)

Registration Closes: Monday, August 6, 2018

A limitation of optical satellite remote sensing is that it depends on cloudless, well-illuminated areas to produce quality data. This is especially problematic for collecting data during nighttime or when there is cloud cover. Radar is an ideal sensor to study the surface of the Earth because of its ability to “see” through clouds regardless of day or night conditions. In addition, the radar signal can penetrate through the vegetation canopy and provide information about conditions underneath, such as flooding. Techniques such as interferometry can track surface deformation on the order centimeters, such as ground movement caused by earthquakes.

This webinar series builds on ARSET's previous webinar: Introduction to Synthetic Aperture Radar. The training will focus on different radar approaches and techniques including amplitude, time-series, polarimetry, and interferometry for mapping and monitoring disasters and land cover. Attendees will apply these techniques to map land cover and land use change, deforestation, flooding, crop monitoring, and surface deformation for earthquake monitoring.


Registration Information:  There is no cost for the webinar, but you must register to attend the sessions. One session of this training will be held in Spanish and one in English. Because we anticipate a high demand for this training, please only sign up for one session

Course Agenda: Agenda.pdf


Advanced Webinar: Techniques for Wildfire Detection and Monitoring

Training Description: Certain areas are experiencing longer fire seasons, with more frequent and severe droughts. Wildfire detection, monitoring, and mitigation is increasingly important in these regions. Satellite remote sensing data is useful for identifying active fires, evaluating burned areas, and assessing fire emissions. This advanced training will highlight tools useful for local fire managers. Presentations and exercises will introduce participants to tools to identify active fires, visualize fire emissions, and calculate burn severity.

Course Date and Time: Thursdays, July 12 and July 19, 2018. There are 2 identical sessions provided twice per day to accommodate an international audience. 10:00-12:00 and 18:00-20:00 EDT (UTC-4)

Learning Objectives: By the end of the training, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify active fires, visualize fire emissions, and calculate burn severity
  • Use the QGIS FMT to enter fire information and order imagery

Intended Audience: This training is primarily intended for local, regional, state, federal, and international organizations  involved in wildfire management.

Registration: This webinar is free and open but you must register. Please only register for one of the daily sessions: 

Course Agenda: Agenda.pdf


Monitoring Urban Floods Using Remote Sensing

Dates:  Wednesday, July 25, 2018 to Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Times:  09:00 – 11:00 and 18:00 – 20:00 EDT (UTC-4)

Registration Closes: Tuesday, July 24, 2018

According to the UNDP, by 2050 two thirds of the world’s population is likely to live in cities. Urban flooding is already a major risk for cities. Increasing impervious surface area, inadequate storm water drainage, and aging infrastructure all contribute. As a result, growing urban populations will face a greater risk of flooding from extreme weather events. This webinar series will focus on the components of urban flooding that satellite data can track:

  • extreme precipitation
  • flooding
  • waterlogged and ponded surfaces

Using satellite data allows individuals and organizations to develop better plans for handling floods. This can include developing better early warning techniques, better plans for rescue and relief, and more effective long-term infrastructure planning.

Prerequisites: Fundamentals of Remote Sensing, Session 1, or equivalent knowledge

Learning Objectives: By the end of the training, attendees will be able to: 

  • Describe remote sensing and Earth system model data useful for flood monitoring in urban areas
  • Identify how remote sensing can aid in planning early warning systems, flood response, and flood recovery efforts

Registration Information: There is no cost for the webinar, but you must register to attend the sessions. Please only sign up for either session A or B, not both. 

Course Agenda: Agenda.pdf

Monitoring Tropical Storms for Emergency Preparedness

Tropical storms have major impacts, including loss of life and destruction of property. In 2017 alone, the United States experienced three tropical storms with more than $1 billion in losses. Open source satellite data can be used before, during, and after a storm for monitoring and response. A storm’s intensity, path, wind, precipitation, storm surge, and flooding can be derived from historical and near real-time satellite observations. In this introductory webinar, participants will learn about the NASA data and tools they can use to monitor tropical storms.

Course Date and Time: Thursdays, May 3, 2018 and May 10, 2018. There are 2 identical sessions provided twice per day to accommodate an international audience.  09:00 – 11:00 and 18:00 – 20:00 EDT (UTC-4). 

Learning Objectives: By the end of the training, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify remote sensing data and tools relevant to tropical storms
  • Monitor conditions before, during, and after a storm using remote sensing data
  • Understand how remote sensing data can be used in decision-making activities

Intended Audience:  This training is primarily intended for individuals and organizations engaged in emergency management, such as relief organizations, transportation and utility providers, public health professionals, insurance providers.

Registration: This webinar is free and open but you must register. Please only register for one of the daily sessions: You can check your local time to select your session preference.

Learn more and register here.


FEMA Training

FEMA IS-100.B:  Introduction to Incident Command System

ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

FEMA IS-700.A:  National Incident Management System (NIMS) – “An Introduction”

This course introduces and overviews the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents.  At the end of this course, students will be able to describe the intent of NIMS, describe the key concepts and principles underlying NIMS, describe the purpose of the NIMS Components including: Preparedness, Communications and Information Management, Resource Management, and Command and Management, and describe the purpose of the National Integration Center.

FEMA IS-800:  National Response Framework – “An Introduction”

The course introduces participants to the concepts and principles of the National Response Framework.  At the end of this course, you will be able to describe the purpose of the National Response Framework, the response doctrine established by the National Response Framework, the roles and responsibilities of entities as specified in the National Response Framework, the actions that support national response, the response organizations used for multiagency coordination, and how planning relates to national preparedness.  You can find more information about the National Response Framework at

FEMA IS-775:  EOC Management and Operations

This course describes the role, design, and functions of Emergency Operations Centers and their relationships as components of a multi-agency coordination system. The course contains disaster-related examples, activities and case studies that relate to EOC's and multi-agency coordination systems at the local, state and federal levels of government.  At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Relate EOC operations to National Incident Management System (NIMS) requirements.
  • Describe the role that EOCs play in overall multiagency coordination.
  • Describe the relationship between the EOC and the on-scene Incident Command System (ICS) structure.
  • Identify staffing, information, systems, and equipment needs at the EOC.
  • Determine whether participants’ EOC organizations are conducive to effective coordination.
  • Identify potential alternate locations suitable for EOC operations should the primary EOC facility become damaged or inoperable.
  • Create a test, training and exercise plan for critical EOC operations.
  • Develop a strategy and schedule for reviewing EOC resource requirements and technology needs.