Community Blogs
 

Included below is a feed of the latest blog posts created by the GLOBE Community. To view a tutorial on how you can create a blog click here 



Plants need light to grow. They also require nutrients. For tiny marine plants, called phytoplankton, those nutrients are often brought up from the ocean’s cold, deep waters to the surface by mixing. But this normal circulation gets disrupted during El Niño years, when huge masses of warm water—equivalent to about half of the volume of the Mediterranean Sea—slosh east across the Pacific Ocean towards South America. The change can have fatal consequences for phytoplankton in the eastern equatorial Pacific. Here is the full story with associated images and video!


Posted in: Field Campaigns: El Niño Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

10. El Niño Student Campaign Refresher and Update -  Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 8:00 pm EDT (12:00 am September 22nd UTC) In this hour-long webinar, participants will get a refresher on this campaign, and will hear from several GLOBE teachers who have been involved with their classes from the start of the campaign. We will discuss the need for ongoing data collection and share the current state of the ENSO cycle.  We will have a NASA scientist discuss the current state of the ENSO cycle and what it might mean for weather conditions for the remainder of this campaign. ...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: El Niño Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Bird Beaks and What they Eat Overview:  Students identify ideal beak shape for food. Age: Upper primary (4th and 5th graders) assisted 1st graders Materials: Bird beak/food handout Straws Dixie cups Juice Tweezers Bowls Wild grain rice Slotted spoons Cooked noodles (macaroni or similarly shaped) Chopsticks Gummy bears White rice Scissors Marshmallows (jumbo) Plan: Ask students why birds have beaks and what they are used for - allow time for discussion. Read a book about beaks to the group. I used ...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Learning Activities: Land Cover/Biology Primary Audience: Students Teachers

Water Availability can be defined as "The hydrologic capacity of a water source (surface water body, groundwater, municipal water) to sustain additional water demands after considering other current water uses and water conditions. (GEMI, 2012) The Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission provides information on water availability and environmental stress for estimating plant productivity and potential yield. The availability of direct observations of soil moisture status and the timing and extent of potential frost damage from SMAP enables significant improvements in operational crop...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

The freezing and thawing of our planet's soil can make a big impact on our climate. Check out the blog below to see just how important this is. SMAP’s focus also includes measurements of freeze/thaw, which tells us whether the land surface is frozen or thawed in areas north of 45-degree north latitude. This is very important to know, because when the vegetation is frozen there is minimal exchange of gasses (CO2 primarily) between the vegetation and the atmosphere. It’s as if the vegetation were in a state of hibernation. This changes however, when spring begins and temperature rises...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

"The Atlanta Science Festival is an annual public celebration of local science and technology. From March 19-26, 2016, curious people of all ages will explore the science and technology in our region and see how science is connected to all parts of our lives in 100 engaging events, including hands-on activities, facility tours, presentations, and performances throughout the metro Atlanta region." --- http://atlantasciencefestival.org/ On Saturday, March 19, there was a GLOBE/SMAP Training Workshops at the Captain Planet Foundation. Participants learned how to take soil...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

The SMAP Mission satellite launched on 31-January 2015 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.  Check out the video below to watch it take off!  


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

How do SMAP Scientists Use GLOBE Data (Part II)? Data Analysis and Blog by Dr. Erika Podest, SMAP Scientist In order to start using GLOBE soil moisture data we need at least 15 measurements collected on days when SMAP flew overhead. The Varazdin School is an example of such and the chart below is a comparison between their data and SMAP soil moisture at 36 km 2 spatial resolution. Figure 2: Comparison between SMAP and GLOBE soil moisture from Varazdin school in Croatia. There are several things to note in Fig. 2. First, GLOBE measurements collected early on did not...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

How do SMAP Scientists Use GLOBE Data (Part I)? Data Analysis and Blog by Dr. Erika Podest, SMAP Scientist SMAP has been collecting soil moisture measurements since mid-April 2015, which are freely available, online through the National Snow and Ice Data Archive Center (NSIDC): https://nsidc.org/data/smap Of utmost importance is to have an assessment of the quality of the data, which is why there is a SMAP calibration/validation group. Its purpose is to determine the accuracy of the measurements and whether there are any biases. In order to calibrate and validate the SMAP...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) » Soil Moisture - SMAP Block Pattern Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Fenómeno El Niño: 8 niños mueren en Piura por altas temperaturas El Niño : 8 children die in Peru by high temperatures It seems the effects of the El Niño phenomena has cause the death of eight children due to heat stroke.  Click HERE to see the original story, in Spanish. Below is the entire article translated into English. _________________ The high temperatures in northern Peru due to El Niño have killed at least eight children as a result of heat stroke, the regional director of Health of the Piura region, Jesus Juarez said. Speaking to Canal N. Juarez said...


Posted in: Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Did you know that soil moisture plays a vital role in human health? Those nasty little critters called mosquitoes love warm, wet soil, and can carry extremely dangerous viruses and diseases. We also can use SMAP soil moisture data to assist famine early warning systems. Improved seasonal soil moisture forecasts using SMAP data will directly benefit famine early warning systems particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where hunger remains a major human health factor and the population harvests its food from rain-fed agriculture in highly monsoonal (seasonal) conditions. In...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Pedosphere (Soil) » Soil Moisture - SMAP Block Pattern Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

The NASA SMAP satellite took off for space on January 31, 2015 to study our planet's soil moisture and freeze/thaw state. Once in space, the satellite had to go through a prescribed series of steps to ensure that the spacecraft was functioning and all its instruments and components on-board were working properly. This took several months. In mid-April 2015, NASA starting receiving its first soil moisture measurements from SMAP's combined high resolution radar and its high accuracy radiometer. The combination of this data produced a data resolution of approximately 8km. Unfortunately,...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Pedosphere (Soil) » Soil Moisture - SMAP Block Pattern Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

There are many application for SMAP soil moisture satellite data. Understanding drought risk is vital to the health of the planet and to the lives of potentially billions of people around the world. Soil moisture strongly affects plant growth and hence agricultural productivity, especially during conditions of water shortage and drought. Currently, there is no global in situ network for soil moisture monitoring. Global estimates of soil moisture and plant water stress must be derived from models. These model predictions (and hence drought monitoring) can be greatly enhanced through...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP GLOBE Science Topics: Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Pedosphere (Soil) » Soil Moisture - SMAP Block Pattern Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

We all know that the SMAP satellite measures soil moisture. But, how does knowing our planet's soil moisture help us in understanding agriculture's reaction to it? SMAP monitors soil moisture and provides critical information for drought early warning. In fact, a deficit in the amount of moisture in the soil defines agricultural drought. SMAP's measurements will come into play because researchers forecast a threefold increase in drought frequency in many regions of the world by the end of the 21st Century. History shows that a sustained drought can result in crop failure, deaths of...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Pedosphere (Soil) » Soil Moisture - SMAP Block Pattern Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Hello from Medford Memorial Middle School in Medford, New Jersey. The quest to get an accurate soil sample continues at Medford Memorial Middle School, Medford NJ. Hello, we are the students of Memorial’s Citizen Science Education Program. We’re excited to be part of the SMAP campaign, but have not yet been able to enter any data.  Here’s a brief overview of our journey. First, we learned about SMAP as a satellite, and then we studied the protocol. We didn’t have any soil sample cans, so we settled on a sturdy coffee can, Ryan had brought in from home. Ashwin measured 5 cm from...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Pedosphere (Soil) » Bulk Density Pedosphere (Soil) » Soil Moisture - Gravimetric Pedosphere (Soil) » Soil Moisture - SMAP Block Pattern Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Guest Blog by NASA SMAP Scientists Dr. Erika Podest and Dr. Narendra Das of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California USA. SMAP scientists are using soil moisture in a number of ways, ways that allow all of us to better understand water’s role on Earth: Weather Prediction : Water in the soil has the potential to evaporate (depending on atmospheric temperature and pressure) and when it does it plays a large role in cloud formation. Soil moisture also has a modulating effect on air temperature and humidity therefore having the ability to measure soil moisture...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP GLOBE Science Topics: General Science GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Have you ever wondered how the SMAP satellite, with an altitude of 685 km (425 miles) above the Earth, can take measurements as precise as the amount of water in the Earth's soil? The quick answer is that it requires precisely calibrated instruments, along with a technological marvel in satellite design. SMAP was designed to use a combination of two precise instruments, one with high resolution, one with high accuracy. THE INSTRUMENTS: Active (High Resolution): SMAP’s radar was designed accurately measure the echoes of very short radio frequency (RF) pulses that bounce...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Technology Field Campaigns: SMAP GLOBE Science Topics: Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

The SMAP Mission is vital to understanding our planet. Water is an essential source for life. By understanding the amount of water in the soil, or soil moisture, we can apply this information to many things. Monitoring Drought SMAP monitors soil moisture and provides critical information for drought early warning. In fact, a deficit in the amount of moisture in the soil defines agricultural drought. SMAP's measurements will come into play because researchers forecast a threefold increase in drought frequency in many regions of the world by the end of the 21st Century. History...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Partners Students Teachers Trainers

Weekly Report 1: 10/1/15 - 10/15/15 This report contains two weeks of data collection due to the beginning of the campaign on October 1, 2015: Volumetric Soil Moisture Measurements = 19 Participating Sites = 4 Schools Submitting Data: Shumate Middle School - Michigan - 8 data counts Ramey School - Puerto Rico -7 data counts The University of Toledo -Ohio - 2 data counts Thomas Edison Energy/Smart Charter School - New Jersey - 2 data counts Congratulations to those schools for getting a great start. Let's get more schools participating! Brian


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Field Campaigns: SMAP GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols General News Topics: Competitions Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Partners Students Teachers Trainers

In the early 1980’s, I chaired a group of scientists exploring the idea of a comprehensive satellite mission to study all aspects of the global environment. The group was diverse with expertise covering the range of Earth science disciplines from geology, ecology, oceanography, limnology, glaciology, and atmospheric science and their various sub-disciplines.  Their first recommendation was take today’s data today. In all of Earth science there is the recognition that we have only one Earth to study. How Earth works is revealed by watching it change in a comprehensive manner and...


Posted in: Primary Audience: Students Teachers

Beste mensen, Het effect van de uitzonderlijk zachte winter op de natuur is ook bij de media niet onopgemerkt gebleven. In de uitzending van het KRO programma Brandpunt op zondag 16 maart komt het onderwerp aan bod. Zie http://gemi.st/KN_1656575 . Het item begint op 23:20. Verder zat ik op zondag 9 maart in het programma Jinek op Zondag. Dit is terug te zien op http://gemi.st/KN_1656819 . Tenslotte zat ik op woensdag 19 maart in het EO-programma 'Melk en Honing'. De uitzending is terug te bekijken op  http://gemi.st/EO_101212300 . Vriendelijke groeten, Arnold


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change Learning Activities: Land Cover/Biology Primary Audience: Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Our sampling site Monocacy Creek - flows through Colonial, Moravian village and empties into the Lehigh River by the repurposed Bethlehem Steel Mill (entertainment center), then into the Delaware River which joins the Atlantic Ocean. Background Bridge traverses the creek at South end of village Runoff washes road salts from brine treatment into creek Every Spring the creek is stocked with fish   Original Scope of GLOBE project – Summer, 2012   Determine water quality of the creek flowing through the village impacted by the...


Posted in: Curriculum: Assessment and Evaluation GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Learning Activities: Hydrology Primary Audience: Scientists Students Teachers

From January 22 to 26, 2012, scientists from around the world gathered for the American Meteorological Society annual meeting, which was held in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Scientists from the GLOBE Program stayed next to the beautiful Mississippi River. The Mississippi River in New Orleans (photo courtesy of Dr. Donna Charlevoix) The Mississippi River is the lifeblood of New Orleans and has so impacted the city that the city was actually developed around it. The first buildings were constructed around the river edge, which has the highest ground, and now...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Primary Audience: Students