Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) / 

Surface Temperature Field Campaign

Please join us for the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) / 

Surface Temperature Campaign for the 2021/2022 School Year!

Campaign Months: October, December and March!




Meet the lead scientist for the UHIE Campaign, Dr. Kevin Czajkowski! Listen as he introduces the campaign and the need for YOUR data! Then scroll down for a NASA video about the science behind the UHIE. At the bottom of the page you will find details about getting involved!


Kevin Czajkowski, Ph.D. 

Dr. Czajkowski is the director of the Geographic Information Science and Applied Geographics (GISAG) Lab at the the University of Toledo.


What is the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE)? 


To get involved in the UHIE - Surface Temperature Field Campaign, use the following links to download the:

  1. Surface Temperature Field Campaign Teacher's Participation Guide
  2. Surface Temperature Protocol
  3. Surface Temperature Data Sheet
  4. Surface Temperature eTraining


The purpose of this investigation is to discover how the land cover of the ground affects its surface temperature. But, that is not the only reason to participate in the field campaign. The main research question that needs to be answered is "How does surface cover affect surface temperature?" Students can set up research studies at their own school such as looking at the difference between paved and unpaved areas, such as a grassy area. More schools are taking surface temperature observations, therefore students can investigate how surface temperature changes between schools. They could look at elevation, latitude and longitude, urban versus rural, proximity to water, etc. There are many research questions possible with surface temperature. Students could also look at how cloud cover or humidity affect the surface temperature.


Urban Heat Island Effect-Surface Temperature Field Campaign is focused on looking at the impact urbanization has on the Earth’s surface temperature and how the surface temperature changes the dynamics of the Earth’s atmosphere. Studying the energy cycle is fundamental to understanding how the Earth’s spheres function within its system. The surface temperature measurements contribute data a) not normally collected by weather agencies, b) for climate studies and c) for ground-truthing satellite data.

Surface Temperature Campaign is not new to the GLOBE Program. The data collection for the Surface Temperature Protocol Campaign as mentioned on the GLOBE website is being done in December when snow occurs.  The campaign will encourage individuals to take daily measurements when doing the atmosphere protocols. The Surface Temperature Protocol was originally designed by Dr. Kevin Czajkowski to validate investigate urban heat island effect and to validate satellite thermal measurements from MODIS and LandSat.

What Data to Collect and When

Dr. C needs YOU to collect and submit the following data to GLOBE:

  • Cloud Data
  • Air Temperature
  • Surface Temperature

Take measurements on at least 5 different days within the following months:

  Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul
Surface Temperature Field Campaign       X     X        X        

What to Do and How to Do it

Report data to the GLOBE database

  • From your "My Public Page", select "Data Entry" or click on the "Enter Data" icon below
  • Under "My Procedures", select your site(s) or "Define, Edit or Update a Site" found at the bottom of the page.  If you do not have any procedures listed, choose the protocol from the list of sites under "Available Procedures Based on My Sites" by clicking the plus sign on the right
  • Fill in the data form as directed and select "Send Data"

Report data to the GLOBE database via Apps

  • Download the GLOBE Observer App to your electronic device. Enter your cloud observation.
  • Before you take photos of the sky, you can enter the Air Temperature.
  • Click on “Send Observation to GLOBE.”
  • For Surface Temperature: Download the GLOBE Data Entry App to your electronic device. Look for Surface Temperature Entry Form.
  • Enter your surface temperature observations.
  • Click on “Send Measurements to GLOBE.”


STFC - overview continued

Advice from Dr. Czajkowski

Some teachers find it hard to get an infrared thermometer (IRT) to do the protocol. In the past, we have used Fluke 63, but we have used Fluke 561 and Etekcity 774 most recently. If you can't find one of those, you may use a lower cost instrument, however please specify the type of IRT you are using when you set up your surface temperature site. Also, you may be able to borrow one from a heating and cooling specialist or an auto mechanic. They use them for their jobs.

Questions? Contact Dr. Kevin Czajkowski, kevin.czajkowski@utoledo.edu

Apply and extend your knowledge


Need help?

Email the GLOBE Science Team if you have questions about the Urban Heat Island Effect-Surface Temperature Field Campaign or need help completing the project.