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 



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 Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) News Topics: Competitions Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Partners Students Teachers Trainers