Vietnam – Institute of Oceanography

Dr. Satsuki Matsumura (Japan), with the help of Dr. Joji Ishizaka (Japan), Dr. Mati Kahru (USA), Dr. Varis Ransibrahmanakul (USA) and Dr. Chun Knee Tan (United Nation University, Japan) trained fifteen students on the applications of ocean-colour remote sensing under the NF-POGO Visiting Professorship Programme.  The selected students came from various institutions throughout Vietnam, as well as two trainees from Thailand.  In addition, several “observers” sat in on the lectures and received training.

The aim of the training course was to promote the use of ocean-colour remote sensing in South Eastern Asia, to increase the students’ knowledge of oceanic optical properties related to the marine environment, to familiarize the students with satellite data processing and to expand the satellite ocean science community in the South East Asian region.  The trainees’ backgrounds were very varied, ranging from fisheries oceanography scientists to computer science, GIS and marine environmental scientists, but all were highly motivated and are expected to have a leadership role in ocean-colour remote sensing in the future.

Training consisted of a series of lectures, starting with the basics of marine optics, and continuing to the relationship between ocean colour and primary productivity, carbon flux, and satellite data handling techniques. The students carried out several exercises using satellite data including downloading, data handling and processing. Dr. Kahru introduced the satellite data processing software WIM/WAM while Dr. Vari introduced GIS related software such as ENVI, SURFER and BILKO.

Hands-on training in collecting field samples was also provided through several boat trips. Underwater optics measurements were collected using an underwater spectral photometer PRR-2600 and the data collected was subsequently analysed as past of the training course. Water samples were also collected for measuring Chl-a and TSS back in the laboratory. After the two-day cruise, each trainee filtered several water samples for extraction and measurement of Chl-a concentration. Diffuse attenuation coefficient K, and remote sensing reflectance Rrs were also calculated using the PRR data. During the handling of the data, they mastered the concepts of marine optics.

Many research projects using ocean-colour data were introduced by Dr. Ishizaka and Dr. Tan, including an introduction to red tide detection by ocean-colour sensors, and the global warming phenomena.  The IOCCG report series (Reports 1 – 6) were used as basic text books (donated by IOCCG). Trainees learned many ideas as well as the theory behind ocean colour from these reports. Trainees were frequently encouraged to present the results of various exercises and analyses, so the professor could ascertain their level of understanding.  Towards the end of the training course, each trainee (including the observers) was requested to submit a final report dealing with a specific theme.  The trainees also discussed future activities including a proposal to organize an ocean-colour remote sensing user group in Vietnam, centered on the group of trainees. Several trainees appealed for the establishment of a fisheries information system in Vietnam. It was also suggested that courses be offered at Vietnamese Universities on remote sensing of ocean colour. Dr. Son recommended that all institutes use the PRR-2600 to collect data for building a marine optics data set in Vietnam.

Vietnam Visiting Professorship report here


  • Nguyen Chi Cong (Viet Nam)
  • Dat Dinh Ngoc (Vietnam)
  • Hai Doan Nhu
  • Tin Hoang Cong (Viet Nam)
  • Nguyen Van Huong (Vietnam)
  • Va Khin Lau (Vietnam)
  • Mau Le Dinh
  • Son Luong Thanh
  • Phan Minh Thu (Viet Nam)
  • Huan Nguyen Huu (Viet Nam)
  • Tuan Nguyen Quan (Viet Nam)
  • Siriporn Pangsorn
  • Jitraporn Phaksopa (United States)
  • Bac Phan Thanh (Viet Nam)
  • Hoan Phan Van
  • Doan Ha Phong (Vietnam)
  • Tong Phuoc Hoang Son (Vietnam)
  • Hong Tu Tuyet
  • Hong Tu Tuyet
  • Tu Tuyet Truong Si Hai
  • Mai Vo Xuan (Vietnam)
  • Uy Vu Nguyen Phi
Some participants of the Visiting Professorship Program in Vietnam, 2007. Picture kindly provided by Mr Mai Vo Xuan.
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