This program offers four separate participatory research opportunities.  They are listed in order here from the quickest to the most in depth for participation.  You can do all four of these protocols in the same place or in different places based on what works with your setting.

The four protocols are explained on individual pages:
– The Cloud protocol: Anytime, anywhere, and as frequently as you want; takes less than a minute after five minute set up.
– The Surface Temperature protocol: Use the same site repeatedly; takes less than five minutes to gather data each time after ten minute set up.  Data collection in morning is preferable but anytime is useful.  Take data as frequently as works for you.
– The Precipitation protocol: Use the same site repeatedly; takes less than five minutes to gather data each time after fifteen minute set up.  Daily readings at approximately the same time are highly desirable.  Empty the gauge after each measurement.
– The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) protocol: Use the same site repeatedly; data collection process takes 10 minutes spread over a couple of days once site is established.  Preference is before 9:30 AM local time with an ideal collection of three times every eight days in alignment with SMAP satellite overpass times.

Who can participate in this program?
This program is open to anyone of any age, background, or profession, anywhere in the world.  As long as you are willing to learn the techniques (called protocols) that ensure the data is collected in a consistent way; are committed to helping to collect data, and are excited to be a part of the scientific process you can be a participant.

How do I learn the techniques for the study?
This website contains all of the tools you will need to learn how to do the protocols.  You will have questions about completing the training materials related to your specific site or location. The SciStarter team and GLOBE Implementation Office staff are available to help you work through those questions and challenges.

What kind of tools will I need?
You will need some common household materials (like ziploc bags, tuna fish cans, and sharpies) and specific scientific equipment to complete the protocols.  The equipment can be purchased, borrowed (in select locations), or accessed through a grant.

What is the time commitment?
Training and getting set up with your site and equipment will take 5-8 hours over a couple of weeks time.  Some may get through it faster, some may take longer.  That is ok! Once you have the tools, a site set up, and mastery of the skills, your time investment depends on the number of times you commit to repeat your data collection.  The minimum is once a month, the preferred amount is once or twice a week.  The data collection process will take a half hour (or less) per sample depending on how easy it is for you to access your site.

What happens to the data I collect?
It may seem obvious, but sometimes data is collected then gets lost in a stack of papers. We try to make submitting your data convenient for you through multiple submission options: by mail, scan and email or through direct data entry.  Collect all your data in one place and set up a process for submitting the data regularly.  This is a critical step!