GLOBE Side Navigation

​​​​​​​Surface Temperature



Students use an infrared thermometer (IRT) to measure the temperature of Earth's surface.

Teachers Guide Supporting Protocols

Supporting Protocols

Protocols to help in completion of the main protocol


Observe and report which types of clouds are visible, how much of the sky is covered by clouds, and the opacity of clouds. Also report sky and surface conditions. Each observation is matched to satellite data of clouds taken about the same time and location. Cloud observations can be taken at any time! This Protocol is designed to be flexible and fit into your schedule, classifying, observing, and reporting cloud observations when it works for you. If you observe while a satellite is overhead, you can then receive an email from NASA comparing your observations to satellite data.

NASA Support Page for GLOBE Clouds and Satellite Comparison
Your cloud observations help NASA to better understand the different types of clouds and the effects they have on our Earth’s climate. NASA matches cloud observations to corresponding satellite data. Satellites only see the top of the clouds while you see the bottom. By putting these two vantage points together we get a much more complete picture of clouds in the atmosphere.

Find Satellite Overpass Times by accessing the NASA Cloud Satellite Portal.

Teachers Guide Field Guides

Field Guides

Step-by-step instructions for collection data according to the protocols.

Teachers Guide Data Sheets

Data Sheets

Sheets to be filled out during data collection

Teacher Guide Learning Activities

Learning Activities

Activities to help students learn more about the instruments and protocols


Students learn about the timing of spring budburst, develop multiple working hypotheses about why timing differs year to year, and test hypotheses using environmental data collected by GLOBE students in Alaska to come to a conclusion about the factors that most impact timing of budburst on paper birch trees. **This activity has an option to get students analyzing data in spreadsheets. The spreadsheet file (and answer key) can be found here:
Students use GLOBE visualizations to display student data on maps and to learn about seasonal changes in regional and global temperature patterns.
Students measure temperature change in soil, water and air as they are exposed to the heating action of the sun.
Students use GLOBE data and graphing tools to compare the influence of latitude, elevation, and geography on seasonal patterns.

Teachers Guide Resources


Additional documents or tools related to the protocol