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A Workshop on Monitoring: Remote Sensing Training and Long-Term Monitoring Strategy

An IEEE - Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society-funded program facilitated by Rochester Institute of Technology, the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization, and
the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education

September 25th-27th, 2023

Jinja, Uganda, East Africa

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The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO), and African Center for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE) are participating in a Society of the IEEE - Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (IEEE-GRSS)-funded workshop aimed at enhancing monitoring capacity in the African Great Lakes region. The workshop will focus on large lake monitoring using remote sensing technology. 

The program invites experts from the ten riparian countries of the African Great Lakes to participate in a short workshop to better understand remote sensing as a technology for monitoring various metrics on lakes. 

Workshop Background & Importance

The African Great Lakes provide important ecosystem services to the communities adjacent to the lakes. Among the most important services are fisheries, as a source of protein and a component of food security, and the use of water for drinking and industry. Lake managers need information on lake water status to maintain the fisheries and water quality in the face of increasing demands and threats. Traditional lake sampling from boats can provide researchers with very accurate information, but only at the sample locations. The practical limitations of cost and time prevent traditional sampling from a boat from giving a complete view of large lakes over time and space. Remote sensing can allow researchers and managers to have an expanded view of lake conditions over time and space. In the last few decades, the development of earth observation sensors flying on satellite, aircraft, or drones has enabled new detailed understanding of processes over time and across large lakes, such as water circulation and biological productivity. But making the most of this image sensor data still requires capacity development for the African Great Lakes region.


This workshop is motivated by the need to boost remote sensing as a tool within a larger need for long-term monitoring of the African Great Lakes. Remote sensing can provide monitoring data on lake water conditions such as temperature, turbidity, and algae abundance, depending on the type of sensor used to capture the image data. This workshop provided African Great Lakes experts the opportunity to acquire fundamental knowledge of remote sensing techniques for lake water quality, learn about sensors used on the lake to validate remote sensing measurements, and strengthen the network of researchers with interests in applying remote sensing to the African Great Lakes.

Workshop Agenda

Sunday September 24

Various times: Arrival of participants 

Monday September 25

0830-0900 Welcome and introduction

0900-0945 Overview of monitoring program and discussion 

0945-1015 Introduction to remote sensing of water quality 

1015-1030 Break/Tea

1030-1100 Introduction to remote sensing water quality algorithms 

1100-1300 Introduction to field and laboratory equipment

1300-1400 Lunch

1400-1700 Introduction to field and laboratory equipment

1700 End of day, participants on their own

Tuesday September 26

0900 Meet at NaFIRRI 

0930 Vessel departs port 

1800 Vessel returns to port 

1800 End of day, participants on their own 

Wednesday September 27

0930-1030 Part 1: Introduction to Google Earth Engine

1030-1045 Break 

1045-1300 Part 2: Time-series and Algal Blooms in Winam Gulf

1300-1400 Lunch

1400-1415 Why join GRSS

1415-1630 Part 3: Algal Blooms in Lake Victoria 

1630-1900 Dinner and certificates, closing (Old Friends)

1900-2100 Networking social at the hotel (Old Friends)


Thursday September 28

Various times: Departure of participants

Who is involved


The participants of this workshop are freshwater and large lake experts from the ten riparian countries of the African Great Lakes. The training on remote sensing is to engage the experts in a different approach to monitoring on the lakes, to gain their perspectives on how such technology might be implemented, and to help create a larger, long-term monitoring program (using remote sensing and other technologies) around the African Great Lakes.

  • Mr. Cyprian Manongi Simon, Research Scientist, Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute

  • Ms. Janviere Tuyisenge, PhD Fellow (Aquatic Ecosystems Chair), IHE Delft, Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands & Vice-Lead Lake Kivu Advisory Group

  • Dr. David Nahimana, Program Coordinator, Dean Faculty of Sciences, University of Burundi & Member, Lake Tanganyika-Science Advisory Group

  • Mr. Mugisho Biringannie David, Junior Lecturer and Researcher, Catholic University of Bukavu, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Environmental Sciences

  • Dr. Akewake Geremew, Lecturere and Researcher, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Addis Ababa University 

  • Mr. Vincent Chiwanda, Fisheries Research Officer, Department of Fisheries, Monkey Bay Capture Fisheries Center in Mangochi

  • Mr. Mabo Lwabanya, Senior Fisheries Officer, Lake Tanganyika Research Unit

  • Ms. Hildah Nyaboke, Research Scientist, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute

  • Mr. Collins Ongore, Research Scientist, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute

  • Dr. Allan Mazimwe, Researcher, Makerere University

  • Ms. Christine Atuhaire, Researcher, Makerere University

  • Ms. Lydia Letaru, Researcher, Makerere University

  • Mr. Justine Amulen, Researcher, Makerere University

  • Dr. Ronald Semyalo, Researcher, Makerere University

  • Mr. Thomas Enuru, Researcher, Makerere University

  • Mr. Reid Mujuni Taremwa, Researcher, Makerere University

  • Ms. Hilda Nyamwiza, Researcher, Makerere University

  • Dr. Daniel Abiriga, Researcher, Makerere University

  • Ms. Julia Akinyi Obuya, Fisheries/Socioeconomics, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute

  • Ms. Emily Atusasire Barigye, Researcher, Makerere University


The trainers are familiar with remote sensing technology and approaches on global water resources and hope to assist, with the perspectives and expertise of the participants, in implementing this technology in hopes to increase long-term monitoring of the African Great Lakes. 

  • Dr. Tony Vodacek - Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, USA

  • Dr. Anthony Gidudu - Makere University, Kampala, Uganda

  • Dr. Shungudzemwoyo Garaba - University of Oldenburg, Germany

  • Steve Otieno - RCMRD, Nairobi, Kenya


The advisors of this workshop are experts from the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education. They are ensuring the workshop takes place by ensuring the appropriate global experts come together. 

  • Dr. Ted Lawrence - African Center for Aquatic Research and Education, USA

  • Zeph Migeni - African Center for Aquatic Research and Education, Kenya

Workshop Resources and Assignments

Assignment 1: Participants of the workshop must take the following survey by August 23rd, midnight EAT:

Assignment 2: Registration

       a. Obtain a Gmail Account. If you do not already have a Gmail account​

       b. Obtain a Google Earth Engine account

       c. Access Google Drive and become familiar with it

Assignment 3: Google Earth Engine Walkthrough

It is important that participants complete Assignment 3 before Assignment 4.

Assignment 4: On-line Remote Sensing Training Modules

The following activities will be accomplished through the NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET) website.

Activity 1: ARSET - Fundamentals of Remote Sensing

This online training is an introduction to remote sensing. You are requested to go through two of the training sessions for this topic.

Session 1: Fundamentals of Remote Sensing. This session requires registration. Please try and finish this session in one sitting, or you may have to re-register.




Session 2: Fundamentals of Aquatic Remote Sensing.

Activity 2: ARSET - Using Google Earth Engine for Land Monitoring Applications

This online training is an introduction to remote sensing for land monitoring. 

Activity 3: ARSET - Remote Sensing of Harmful Algal Blooms

This online training is an introduction to remote sensing of harmful algal blooms. You are requested to go through sessions 1 and 2 of the training to learn more about harmful algal blooms and how to monitor these blooms with remote sensing.

Session 1: Overview of Harmful Algal Blooms.



Session 2: Platforms and Sensors for Ocean Observations, Data Access, and Processing Tools. 

Additional Resources

NOTE: You can follow many more trainings on multiple remote sensing topics and the fundamentals of remote sensing at the ARSET Home Page: ARSET - Home Page

The information provided below is for general consumption

Partners and Contacts

Co-host and Training

Rochester Inst. Tech. logo.jpg

National Fisheries Resources Research Institute

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Lake Victoria

Fisheries Organization

Jinja, Uganda, E. Africa

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King's College

London, London, UK

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IEEE - Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society

For questions about this workshop or the organizations involved,

please contact Ted Lawrence at

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