Hydrosphere Overview - Teachers Guide


Large body of water at sunset.

Water is a crucial resource for life and a key player in many important chemical reactions. These reactions help shape the land and change the composition of water bodies, which in turn, affect the wildlife that live in those bodies. For example, precipitation can capture aerosols in the atmosphere, acidifying the rain or snow, which slowly degrades rocks and minerals over time. These dissolved impurities trickle into nearby bodies of water, altering their chemical composition and capability of supporting different types of life.  

Altering any characteristic of the water cycle impacts many other natural processes. The valuable data provided by GLOBE students is helping enhance the understanding of these connections and Earth's natural waters. To make sure this data is comparable from site to site, GLOBE students and scientists use GLOBE-approved instruments and follow rigorous protocols


In this investigation, members can find:

  • Learning activities focused on scientific concepts, measurement collection methodologies and exercises on how to understand data
  • Field guides for each hydrosphere protocol
  • An Investigation Appendix that contains:
    • Data sheets for all hydrosphere protocols
    • A hydrology site map template
    • A glossary of relevant terminology


The GLOBE Atmosphere Investigation is available in the six United Nations languages:

2005 Editions: Arabic | French | Spanish 

1997 Editions: ChinesePortugueseRussian


General Hydrosphere Documents