GLOBE citizen science for informal learning centers

Thank you for offering your time and facility space to help your visitors join in citizen science — science we can all do together! This training is meant to help you become familiar with the El Nino field campaign, learn how to set up a field study site right at your center, and teach your visitors how to engage in this scientific research themselves.

NASA, through its GLOBE program, has asked for citizens across the United States to help it collect data that will inform scientific research on patterns of weather change associated with El Nino, a periodic shift in water temperature in the southern Pacific Ocean. It may seem like it’s another world away, but those faraway changes create widespread effects on weather patterns across the U.S. and across the globe. By collecting information about rainfall, cloud cover, temperature, and other variables, NASA aims to better understand global water patterns, which will inform climate change research and much more.

This series of short lessons will show you the correct procedures, or protocols,  for collecting data in four categories: precipitation (rainfall, hail, sleet, snow), cloud cover, soil moisture (how much water the soil holds), and surface temperature (the temperature of the surface of the ground). Taken together, these data help scientists get a better picture of how these different factors vary across the country and also provide a valuable point of comparison for similar data collected from NASA satellites.

All four of these protocols can be done in the same location. Some are very quick and easy, some take a little longer to implement — but with the right site, tools and training, you will be ready to go in no time!

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