The Center for Remote Sensing serves as a focal point for basic and applied research on remote sensing of the physical, geological, chemical and biological properties of the oceans and the coastal zone. The Center employs about a dozen faculty, staff, graduate students, and visiting scientists.

The Center specializes in interdisciplinary research and training with emphasis on coastal processes and marine resources. Research vessels, aircraft, and satellites equipped with multispectral, infrared, and microwave sensors are used for gathering data. Advanced computer systems are employed to analyze and enhance the satellite imagery.

In addition to course work, graduate students prepare theses or dissertations on satellite oceanography, global climate change, local impact of sea-level rise, optical physics of coastal waters, wetland productivity and health, pollutant drift and dispersion, coastal environmental indicators, and applications of remote sensing and GIS to coastal resource management. The research is supported by federal and state agencies, as well as commercial firms and private foundations.

The Center has conducted coastal and ocean studies in various parts of the world and has provided training to more than 200 scientists and students from the U.S. and 14 foreign countries.

In 1997, the Center was recognized by NASA as a Center for Excellence in the application of remote sensing to regional and global environmental assessment of coastal/marine resources.