At NASA GLOBE Clouds, our science team uses observations from citizen scientists like you to help us better understand the data our satellites collect. Using the GLOBE Observer app, volunteers send us observations of clouds taken while a satellite is overhead, which we then compare to our satellite measurements of the same clouds.
In just over five years, citizen scientists like you have helped us amass enough cloud observations to be matched with NASA and NOAA satellite data nearly one million times! This milestone is in sight because of dedicated volunteers like Om Prakash Gupta. Om is an avid citizen scientist in India who has more than 9,000 GLOBE Cloud satellite matches. But just as important are the thousands of people who download the app and share even just one observation.
Our goal is to reach the one million mark before the end of July, and you can help! Get started by downloading the GLOBE Observer app and joining our Clouds program.
In June 2022, the team published a scientific analysis of the satellite data compared to volunteer data. We found that your observations agree closely with satellite data most of the time, except in two situations: (1) You see low clouds better when there are also high clouds in the sky that block a satellite’s view. (2) You can see high, thin clouds better because you are seeing them against a blue sky instead of Earth’s surface — the satellite perspective.
This is exactly the sort of result we were hoping for, and It shows that your observations make a meaningful contribution to scientific research. Thank you!
GO C3: GLOBE Observer Connection, Conversation, Celebration
We want to meet — and celebrate with — all of the people who helped us reach this milestone with a summer of celebration. We’re planning a virtual party to celebrate our dedicated volunteer community.
GLOBE Observer Connection, Conversation, Celebration (GO C3) will be our first-ever virtual gathering of volunteers who participate with The GLOBE Program through the GLOBE Observer app. Anyone may register to attend this free online event. The event will take place on July 26, 2022 from 7-9 p.m. ET (11-1 UTC).
GO C3 will feature presentations by volunteers from all around the world, updates from the GLOBE Observer team and interactive conversations with scientists and other volunteers. If you are interested in presenting at GO C3 (ages 13 and up only), please apply by June 26, 2022 by creating a short video (up to 4 minutes long) telling us how GLOBE influences your life.
We look forward to meeting the community of volunteers who give so much to GLOBE and celebrating your contributions!
GLOBE Land Cover Challenge 2022: Land Cover in a Changing Climate
NASA GLOBE studies more than just clouds. GO C3 will also kick off a month-long data collection challenge to collect land observations in support of the NASA Landsat Program’s 50th anniversary. The Landsat series of satellites provides the longest continuous space-based record of land in existence — a record that is essential to monitoring changes on the land in a changing climate.
During the GLOBE Land Cover Challenge 2022: Land Cover in a Changing Climate, July 26-August 26, 2022, volunteers will use the GLOBE Observer app to document land cover (aka, what is on the land’s surface) by taking photos in each cardinal direction.
Volunteers who participate in the challenge by submitting 25 or more observations will receive a Landsat satellite image matching one of their observation sites. Those who submit 50 or more observations will be sent a small thank you gift from the Landsat Program. Watch the Challenge page on the GLOBE Observer website for more information.
New GLOBE Observer Resources
GLOBE Observer Updates
Some changes are coming to the GLOBE Observer app that will improve your experience. Soon, you will be able to select a username so that it is easier to recognize your contributions to GLOBE. We take great care to protect your privacy, and currently that means that we only identify people through a unique user identification number. That number is not publicly linked to an email address or your name. With the new update, you can select an anonymous username, which will make it easier for you to have an identity inside of The GLOBE Program while maintaining your privacy.
Second, we are implementing a new artificial intelligence (AI) screening process to review your photos, which means that you will see your photos in the GLOBE database much more quickly.
Girl Scout Resources
This spring, the GLOBE Observer team released support resources for Girl Scout leaders working on the Think Like a Citizen Science Journey with GLOBE Observer. The Girl Scout Guide features videos that step leaders through the process of doing GLOBE citizen science to complete the Journey and a case study. For each protocol in the GLOBE Observer app, leaders will also find presentation slides and activities, giving them a variety of ways to access and present the information to their troops. In 2021, more than 650 Girl Scout troops plus an additional 4,350 individual scouts participated in GLOBE through the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey. The new materials will provide guidance for additional troops to participate in the future.
We have a great deal to celebrate this summer. We hope that you join us at the GO C3 event on July 26, in our race to match to a million cloud observations, in our Land Cover Challenge or simply by using the GLOBE Observer app to observe clouds, mosquito habitats, land cover or trees. If you have questions as you get started, please contact us!