In the value chain of progressing from data to information to applications and knowledge, observations of surface ocean and coastal water properties by satellite remote sensing are significant components for many operational applications, modeling and data assimilation activities, and scientific investigations that assess, monitor and predict the physical, biological, and biogeochemical states of the marine environment. For the open ocean, many key environmental parameters are determined on a routine and sustained basis from well-validated algorithms including sea surface temperature, sea surface height, ocean color, sea ice, ocean winds, and roughness of the ocean surface (e.g., oil spills), providing frequent and synoptic coverage. Retrievals in coastal, near-shore and inland waters continue to be an area of active research and development, but many products are fit for purpose and ready for use in observation-based marine applications. Gaining access to and utilizing these satellite data and data products can be daunting to the non-specialist, however. This tutorial will i) review current status and availability of mature, operational satellite observations for the ocean and coasts; ii) provide information on emerging satellite-derived products; iii) illustrate use of these data through representative case studies; and iv) highlight methods for the discovery and acquisition of satellite data, including a demonstration of the NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch data portal and a group discussion on solutions to the barriers (real or perceived) that constrain more routine utilization of satellite observations. Time will be allocated for participants to explore data portals and interact with the tutorial team to request guidance, suggest downstream data products and/or give feedback, etc.
This tutorial is primarily aimed toward decision-makers, managers, engineers and researchers (public, private, commercial) who would like to consider incorporating ocean and coastal satellite observations into their applications and services but who need to learn the basics or get beyond obstacles they may have encountered.