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Today (25 September): Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign Kick-off Webinar

Trees Around the GLOBE webinar graphic

On Tuesday, 25 September, the Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign Kick-off webinar will be held at 2:00 p.m. EDT (6:00 p.m. UTC).

In conjunction with the launch of NASA’s ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite), GLOBE is launching a new “Trees Around the GLOBE” student research campaign – and is calling on all GLOBE students and teachers to start taking tree height measurements on the day of the launch: 15 September.

During the 25 September webinar, participants will discuss campaign logistics, including what to expect, what GLOBE protocols to use to collect data, and how the ICESat-2 Mission fits into the campaign. The plan for the campaign's use of student collaboration, GLOBE data, and research projects will also be highlighted during the webinar.

Webinars will be a vital part of the campaign. Each month, participants will focus on the scientific research of trees, bringing in experts from around the world to share their current research experiences with trees and the importance of the GLOBE protocol measurements to understanding our planet's trees and their roles in our Earth's ecosystem.

During the webinars, we will hear from researchers in the field, including:

  • The National Park Service
  • The National Forest Service
  • NASA
  • The AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network (AREN)
  • Acquire - Analyze - Apply (A3)
  • Oregon State University
  • American Forests
  • GLOBE Schools and GLOBE Students

To register for the upcoming webinars and to receive emails about future webinars, CLICK HERE!

All the webinars can be joined at

ICESat-2, which will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA, will use lasers and a very precise detection instrument to measure the elevation of Earth’s surface. By timing how long it takes laser beams to travel from the satellite to Earth and back, scientists can calculate the height of glaciers, sea ice, forests, lakes and more – including the changing ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. The satellite will also measure heights across Earth's temperate and tropical regions, and take stock of the vegetation in forests worldwide.

GLOBE Tree Height Measurement graphic

The Trees Around the GLOBE campaign will be focusing on one exciting variable that the ICESat-2 satellite will measure: tree height. Measuring tree height is a gateway to understanding many things about the environment. The structure of tree canopies, the 3D arrangement of individual trees, has a huge effect on how ecosystems function and cycle through carbon, water, and nutrients.

This campaign will run from 15 September 2018 through 15 September 2021. It will create an organized community of students who take tree height measurements; compare these measurements to established NASA programs; research tree height data from other GLOBE schools and countries; and take supplemental protocol measurements like Green Up/Green Down and Land Cover Classification. Students are also encouraged to take location baseline protocol measurements of Air Temperature, Surface Temperature, Soil Temperature, and Carbon Cycle.

Measuring tree heights allows us to better understand:

  • growth rate of trees in a particular area;
  • stand exams (which are used to characterize forest vegetation for use in wildlife habitat);
  • identification and timber production (which can provide baseline data on species composition and forest structure);
  • structure of forests that impacts carbon resources and biodiversity across large regions and even globally, as well as a host of other science issues;
  • estimating the amount of above-ground carbon; 
  • bird nesting sites (different birds nest and feed at varying locations of the tree canopy); and
  • the quality of the location for growing trees.

So, dust off your clinometers; grab some straws, string, tape measures and some tape; and go out and get some tree height measurements. Once the satellite is in orbit and taking measurements, you will be able to compare your tree height data to the tree height data from ICESat-2. In addition, scientists from the ICESat-2 mission will periodically review the tree height data. This data will allow scientists to use it as satellite data validation and in potential professional research.

To learn more about the NASA ICESat-2 satellite mission, click here.

To learn more about the Trees Around the GLOBE campaign, click here.

Investigation Areas: Biosphere type: globe-news

News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office