Do you live in an area that has dust storms? The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program (GLOBE) team would like you to photograph dust events in your area and submit your photos using the GLOBE Observer app.


Join NASA GLOBE Clouds Project Scientist, Marilé Colón Robles, to learn more about how to collect your observations and educational resources you can use with formal and informal audiences. Your observations will be used by scientists to verify satellite observations and see if their models have successfully predicted these dust storms and help scientists alert communities to better prepare for the harmful impacts of these storms. Read more about the scientists involved and walk through the steps to make these observations (link here).


Press play on the video below to watch the webinar!


Slides used in the webinar - (click to download)


List of resources related to dust (activities, articles, visualizations, & books)

I. Activities and Lessons:

  • GLOBE’s Up in the Air (collector) (grades 1-5)

Students will collect data, analyze, and interpret data as they explore the amount of aerosols present in the air.

  • Teach Engineering: I breathe WHAT? (grades 6-8)

Students capture and examine air particles to gain an appreciation of how much dust, pollen and other particulate matter is present in the air around them.

  • GLOBE’s Soil Makers (Weathering and erosion) (grades 3-8) 

This activity will focus on the geologic processes of weathering and erosion.

  • Elementary GLOBE Learning Activity (Getting to Know Soil) (grades K-4)

Students make predictions about the properties of various soil samples and examine several types of soils, recording their observations. In Part 2 of the activity, they will examine a soil sample in a jar.

  • GLOBE’s Just Passing Through (Beginner) 

Students time the flow of water through different soils and observe the amount of water held in these soils.

  • NASA EO Kids - Air Pollution: Seeing small specks from space (grade 3-9) 

Discover how satellites sense air quality from high above the ground. You can also create your very own air quality sensor with our “DIY Science” activity.

  • NASA EO Kids - From School to NASA Earth Science (grade 3-9) 

What do you want to be when you grow up? Find out what three NASA scientists wanted to be when they were young and discover what they do now. Then, be a scientist yourself! Learn how to use the GLOBE Observer app to collect your own scientific observations.

  • My NASA Data - Energy and Matter: Dust Crossing (grades 4-12)

Mini lesson on how dust travels around the world.

  • My NASA Data - Revised: Tropical Atlantic Aerosols and Clouds (grades 9-12)

Students will use NASA satellite data to determine the location of the greatest concentrations of aerosols during the course of a year in the tropical Atlantic region and their relationship to cloud coverage.


II. Articles/Readings:


  • Weather WizKids - Sandstorm questions & answers

  • The gardener remembers: The Dust Bowl Grasshopper plague

  • NASA Understanding Earth: The Journey of Dust

  • NASA Explains the Dust Bowl Drought

  • NASA Modeling the Dust Bowl Climate Forcing

  • United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) Fact Sheet: Sand and Dust Storms

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): Global Assessment of Sand and Dust Storms


III. Visualizations & NASA Data:

  • Video: Protecting People from Sand and Dust Storms (World Meteorological Organization - WMO) 

  • Video: Sand and Dust Storms (English - WMO)

  • Video: Sand and Dust Storms (Spanish - WMO)

  • Video: Sand and Dust Storms (Arabic - WMO)

  • Dust in the wind visualization

The Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center created this visualization using the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) computer model.

  • NASA visualizations related to dust

List of multiple visualizations made by NASA related to dust.

  • NASA Worldview: Dust observations

Use NASA Worldview to look at NASA satellite data. This link pull up data used to track dust around the world. 

  • ArcGIS The Dust Bowl - US History GeoInquiries™

A geoinquiry map exploring the Dust Bowl and population change 1920 - 1950

  • NASA Earth Observatory: Dust and Haze 

Images and stories related to dust and haze using NASA satellite observations.

  • NASA Storm Watch on Mars 

Discover images from the surface of Mars and track the weather and possible dust storms on The Red Planet. 


IV. Books:


  • Elementary GLOBE: Air Quality book (print and eBook)

In this storybook, the GLOBE Kids investigate colors in the sky and learn how air pollution affects sky color and our health. 

  • Elementary GLOBE: The Scoop on Soils (print and eBook)

In this storybook, the GLOBE Kids are on the trail of Scoop, an eager dog who loves to dig holes in the soil. At each hole Scoop has dug, the Kids use their journals to record characteristics of the soil.

  • Recommended List of Kid Books about the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression (United States History)


Check your local library for these and more books for adults related to the Dust Bowl (United States)



  • Burns, Ken and Duncan, Dayton (2012) The Dust Bowl [videorecording]:

A film  and accompanying book by Ken Burns and  Dayton Duncan, The Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History. 

  • Egan, Timothy (2006) The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (2006).

The Worst Hard Time draws upon first-hand oral accounts of Dust Bowl/Depression-era survivors for a moving history of life on the Great Plains before and after the devastation of those events.

  • Gregory, James (1989) American exodus: the Dust Bowl migration and Okie culture in California.
  • Sandler, Martin (2009) The Dust Bowl Through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Helped Remedy a National Disaster




  • Meadows, Rae (2016) I will send rain: a novel. 
  • Steinbeck, John (1938) The Grapes of Wrath.
  • Loewenstein, Laurie (2018) Death of a rainmaker: a Dust Bowl mystery. 




Special thanks to Angie Rizzi for her help putting together this list of resources!


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This is a great resource!