The GLOBE Teacher's Guide

The GLOBE Teacher's Guide is an online collection of background information, protocols (data collection procedures), and learning activities organized by Earth spheres: Atmosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphere,and Soil (Pedosphere). Protocols are intended to be used as written, using instruments which meet certain specifications to ensure data accuracy worldwide. Instruments, as well as instrument suppliers, are available here: Scientific Instruments for Collecting GLOBE Data.  Learning activities, on the other hand, can be modified to fit your time, resource or content needs.

Protocols and learning activities also note the education standards they address. In the United States, many educators are required to focus their teaching on addressing specific standards. Many countries in GLOBE and virtually every state in the United States have adopted standards for education, including science education. These standards vary, and it is not presently possible to provide a correspondence between GLOBE elements (e.g. protocols and learning activities) and every set of standards. However, there is often much in common among the different sets of standards for science education.

For this Teacher's Guide, GLOBE has chosen to use the National Science Education Standards published by the US National Academy of Sciences, selected additional content standards that GLOBE scientists and educators feel might make appropriate additions to standards, and the National Geography Standards prepared by the (US) National Education Standards Project.  Additionally, the Teacher's Guide Search Tool allows for users to search by specific Next Generation Science Standards Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) or Student Performance Expectations (SPEs).  
The Teacher's Guide would not have been possible without the contributions of many Authors and Editors.  

Introduction Documents:

Teacher's Guide Introduction (pdf)

Implementing GLOBE in the Classroom:

Introduction and Body (pdf)

Appendix (pdf)

Instruments and Tools:

Instrument Resources


Earth as a System

Earth as a System

The measurements of The GLOBE Program provide students with the means to begin this exploration for themselves. GLOBE students aid in the understanding of how Earth functions as a system through data collection and student research.



Atmospheric conditions can have an important impact on the types of plants and animals that can live in a particular area as well as soil formation. The atmospheric measurements collected by GLOBE students are important to scientists studying weather, climate, land cover, phenology, ecology, biology, hydrology and soil.



The Biosphere is divided into natural and developed areas. Developed areas include urban and commercial areas, agricultural areas and transportation. Natural areas include many different natural habitats: deserts, forests, water bodies and the like. All living things––including humans––depend on their habitat or land cover­­ for survival. Land cover provides shelter, food and protection. Land cover also has a direct effect on the kinds of animals that will likely inhabit an area.



Water participates in many important natural chemical reactions and is a good solvent. Changing any part of the Earth system, such as the amount or type of vegetation in a region or from natural land cover to an impervious one, can affect the rest of the system. Rain and snow capture aerosols from the air. Acidic water slowly dissolves rocks, placing dissolved solids in water. Dissolved or suspended impurities determine water's chemical composition. Current measurement programs in many areas of the world cover only a few water bodies a few times during the year. GLOBE students provide valuable data to help fill these gaps and improve our understanding of Earth's natural waters.


Soil (Pedosphere)

Data collection of soil temperature, moisture and chemical properties is invaluable to scientists in many fields: soil scientists use the data to better understand their potential for plant growth; hydrologists use the data to determine potential sedimentation in water bodies; climatologists use soil data in climate prediction models as soils can affect humidity and temperature; biologists use soil data to understand its potential for supporting plant and animal life; and anthropologists study the soil in order to reconstruct the human history of an area.