Thesis subject

MSc thesis topic: Prioritizing research challenges for satellite-date related forest monitoring

Capacities for forest monitoring are increasing, however monitoring tropical forests in order to fulfil the monitoring requirements of international policies such as REDD+ remains difficult.

A number of challenges have been identified such as monitoring forest regrowth, integrating satellite data from different sensors (Landsat & Sentinel for example), and monitoring specific forest types such as dry forests and woodland areas. A workshop planned for April 2021 will bring researchers together to identify their priority research topics.

Donors need to identify what the most pressing challenges are, and therefore a systematic approach might be used to prioritize research challenges.

Criteria might include User / Policy needs, existing donor commitments, availability of existing research, new satellite data streams, and availability of operational data, methods and tools. A spatial element looking at forest types, priority areas for action (related to forest loss etc.) or other variables might be integrated.


This links to the project. WU is responsible for identifying research challenges for tropical forest monitoring in this project.


  • Identify research gaps, based on project documentation, and the workshop
  • Identify relevant criteria which might be used to prioritize research priorities
  • Devise a systematic approach to prioritize research gaps
  • Propose a priority list of research tasks, which are actionable by donors



  • GIS software knowledge (no specific courses are required)

Theme(s): Sensing & measuring; Integrated Land Monitoring