Geography and Social Studies

GLOBE supports the multicultural study of science, social studies, and geography by promoting geographic literacy through a strong network of GLOBE students around the world. GLOBE provides students with hands-on experience in working with maps, interacting with students from different cultures, speaking different languages, and learning about important environmental issues that affect us all. 

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Students gain experience in geography skills such as understanding latitude, longitude, scale, map elements, spatial analysis, GIS, and GPS.

GLOBE students around the world are working with satellite data to map their environments. They identify study sites, then observe, classify, measure, and record data on the details of the land. These ground data are then compared to the satellite-derived land cover map to check the accuracy of the map. Many GLOBE schools are participating in community mapping projects called Muc-a-thons.

Visualizations of GLOBE data can be created using World Wind, a 3D Earth-viewing application developed by NASA Ames Research Center.

In addition, GLOBE teamed with NASA's Lewis and Clark Life Long Learning Online (L3) Project to provide an opportunity for teachers and students involved in the GLOBE Program to examine the Lewis and Clark Trail over time — looking at the past, present and the future.

Physical Geography

Topics in physical geography curricula are matched with links to the GLOBE Teacher's Guide chapters and Earth System Science Projects on these topics:


School Subject Area GLOBE Investigation Area GLOBE ESS Project
Climatology Weather and climate Atmosphere and Climate  
Hydrology Water cycle Watersheds Hydrology Watershed Dynamics
Soil Soil  
Land cover Land Cover/Biology  
Ecosystems   Seasons and Biomes

Social Studies

GLOBE strives to improve geographic literacy and to provide students with experiences to become more informed global citizens.

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In 2006, GLOBE joined the My Wonderful World coalition led by National Geographic. The My Wonderful World Web site has outstanding resources for parents, educators, and students, such as family activites, geography games, online adventures, classroom materials, and ways for young and old to test their global IQs. The site also provides tools for communicating to policy makers and education leaders the importance of geographic literacy.

UNEP logo

UNEP's Atlas of Our Changing Environment project provides a comprehensive, visual presentation of scientifically verifiable information, on changes in the global environment acquired and assessed through state-of-the-art remote sensing technology. The following reports have been published: One Planet Many People, and Africa Atlas.

We encourage all GLOBE teachers to incorporate activities that promote geographic literacy into their curricula. Please let us know if you are using GLOBE in your classroom to integrate activities related to the multicultural or interdisciplinary study of science, social studies, and geography.