Intensive Observation Periods (IOPs)

Intensive Observation Periods (IOPs)

Intensive Observation Periods (IOPs) are focused periods of time where participants are encouraged to collect large amounts of data and enter it in the GLOBE database. Data that is collected during an IOP will provide other GLOBE students, scientists, researchers, and educators large amounts of concentrated data over a short period of time. This can also be referred to as "Data Density." Ground-based data density can serve as way to help validate data coming from satellites and airborne instruments.

For instance, if GLOBE students take multiple measurements of tree height and land cover over a short amount of time and build up a strong database, scientists working with the ICESat-2 satellite tree height data can use the IOP student data and compare it to the ICESat-2 tree height measurements. Scientists working with land cover data from the Landsat satellite can do the same for land cover.


Land Cover January 2020 Intensive Observation Period Results

400 Land Cover measurements came in from 229 locations in 10 countries around the world. 

The Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign Team would like to announce the champion for the January 2020 Land Cover Intensive Observation Period:

O. Gupta from GLOBE United States with 101 submitted measurements!

The map below represents the campaign member countries that participated in the 2020 Land Cover IOP.




IOP Information:

During each IOP, GLOBE students will:

  • Take measurements of tree height or land cover and one additional protocol, from the suite of campaign protocols found at,  
  • take measurements at least three times per week for one month at the same study site for both protocols.
    • The tree height measurements should be of the same trees each time for each site.
    • You can have multiple sites for trees and land cover, thus increasing the number of trees and land covers measured.

Each participant will receive a Virtual Tree Height or Land Cover IOP Badge

The GLOBE school with the most collected tree height data or land cover data and additional protocol data will receive: 

·        A Virtual one-on-one Q and A session with a NASA scientist, researcher, or engineer. 

·        Virtual Tree Height or Land Cover IOP Winner Badge

The major goal here is to have students compare their measurements seasonally and with other GLOBE school measurements from around the world.