There are three ways to access equipment for participating in the El Nino protocols.

Screen shot 2016-08-13 at 10.41.45 AM1. Purchase a kit from SciStarter.

You can purchase an El Nino Citizen Science kit from SciStarter for $129 plus $18 shipping/handling and 8% sales tax.  Orders only available in the 48 continental states:

The El Nino Kit includes:

Heat lamp

Digital balance

Soil collection tins

Infrared thermometer

Rain gauge

Graduated cylinder


Or contact with questions

2. Become a lending library.  Your museum, library, or informal convener can serve as a lending library for the kits. Contact for more information.

3. Apply for a grant: limited funds are available via our partnership with YLACES.  To apply for grant funding to cover the cost of the Kit, please visit

Equipment List for each protocol

Surface Temperature protocol:

  • Hand-held Infrared Thermometer (IRT)
  • Ruler or meter stick
  • Watch
  • Pen or pencil

Precipitation Protocol

  • Large Capacity Metric Rain Gauge
  • Post for the Rain Gauge (0.6 m with angled top in open area;1.5 m with angled top in developed area)
  • Pen or pencil

SMAP Protocol

  • 100 mL graduated cylinder
  • Balance or scale with 0.1 g sensitivity and at least 400 g capacity (600 g recommended)
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • 4 sampling cans (for example, empty and cleaned small cat food, tuna, or pineapple cans without a lip; cans with a lip impact the volume of the can). (NOTE: Use caution, can edges may be sharp.)
  • Permanent marker for writing on sealable plastic bags and/or sample cans, and a pen or pencil to write your measurements.
  • A heating lamp that can reach a sustained temperature of 60–90 ̊ C (for 2 or 3 days), such as a 250-watt infrared overhead based on latitude and longitude.

Done with this step?  Move to the next one.