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Celebrate our planet on Earth Day and beyond through NASA’s GLOBE Observer citizen science project!

globe-observer-iconGLOBE Observer cloud observations are helping NASA scientists understand clouds from below (the ground) and above (from space). Clouds play an important role in transferring energy from the Sun to different parts of the Earth system. Because clouds can change rapidly, scientists need frequent observations from citizen scientists.

Host an Earth Day event to observe clouds using the GLOBE Observer app on April 22, 2017. Participating libraries will receive a packet of Earth Day programming materials (on a first-come, first-served basis).

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Event FAQs

The GLOBE Observer app and resources are evergreen – they can be used any time of the year, not just on Earth Day. While there is extra value getting a large number of people observing clouds on one day, it is important for citizen scientists to observe regularly and beyond Earth Day.
The app tutorial provides the information you need to make a cloud observation. If you would like additional practice identifying clouds, check out the Additional Cloud Observation Resources below.

Partnership Opportunities

Reach out to NASA Subject Matter Experts to collaborate on your programs! Invite them to serve as program speakers for adult programs or help you facilitate hands-on activities and talk about science and exploration with youth.  These Subject Matter Experts are STEM-focused professionals from NASA-funded centers and institutions, as well as researchers and NASA volunteers within each region that can collaborate on programs.

Find Potential Collaborators

Online and Physical Earth Day Displays

Below are resources for creating a display – in your library and on your website – to engage patrons in Earth Day.

Mural

Cloudscape
Engage library visitors in making their own exhibit through creating a model of the different types of clouds and the atmospheric levels at which the clouds exist. This Elementary GLOBE activity could be adapted to be completed as a large scale daily mural to which patrons can contribute or could be completed as an individual activity as part of a STEAM activity.

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Videos

GLOBE Observer Clouds: Why Observe?
In this short video, NASA scientist Jessica Taylor explains the role of clouds in Earth’s climate, how NASA is studying clouds from space, and the importance of cloud observations from citizen scientists to complement NASA science.

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NASA’s Earth Minute: Cloudy Forecast
“NASA’s Earth Minute” is a series of animated white-board videos for students of all ages explaining key concepts about Earth science, missions and climate change. This short video (1:23) explains how clouds are complicated when it comes to climate science, as they both warm and cool Earth. NASA is studying these atmospheric masses of condensed water vapor with satellites and aircraft, and you can, too, with a citizen science app: http://observer.globe.gov.

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Real World: Citizen Science
What are citizen scientists? Why is their work so important to NASA? Join Dr. Michelle Thaller in this short video (4:28) as she explains how the general public, using scientific protocols, careful observations and accurate measurements, can help NASA make exciting new discoveries. Find out how you can be a citizen scientist today.

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Reading the ABCs from Space
See all 26 letters of the alphabet (as well as a pound and at sign) in clouds and landforms observed from space by NASA satellite imagery and astronaut photography. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

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Animations

NASA Earth Observing Fleet 
See how the Earth Observing fleet of satellites crisscrosses the globe with their observations. Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

View Animation

Create Your Own Exhibit

Click button to view PDF file in another browser window. Right-click on the button (Save link as…) to save the exhibit poster to your computer.

Measuring Earth’s Changes

Download 11″x17″ Poster
Download 36″x48″Poster
Download 24″x36″ Poster

What Makes Weather?

Download 11″x17″ Poster
Download 36″x48″Poster
Download 24″x36″ Poster

Wild Weather

Download 11″x17″ Poster
Download 36″x48″Poster
Download 24″x36″ Poster

Books

Do You Know that Clouds Have Names?
In this science-based storybook, children learn that clouds have different names based on their appearance and position in the atmospheric column. Contrails, or condensation trails, are also discussed. The book is one of a series in the Elementary GLOBE unit designed to introduce students to the study of Earth system science.

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Additional Cloud Observation Resources

Simple Cloud Tutorial
PDF version of the in-app tutorial, providing information to make an observation.

View PDF File

NOVA Cloud Lab
Practice your cloud classification skills by clicking cloud images in the NOVA Cloud Lab Gallery.  Select the cloud type from the drop down menu and click submit.  Were you correct?

View Web Page

GLOBE Clouds eTraining
Developed for teachers, this in-depth tutorial explains what clouds are and how they form; why clouds are an important element of the Earth system; and explain why cloud observations are important for understanding our changing Earth system.

View Tutorial

Celebrate Earth Day with NASA’s GLOBE Observer

March 8, 2017 – 1:00pm MT
Join a NASA scientist and educators to learn why observing clouds and sky conditions is important to NASA, how citizen science cloud observations contribute to NASA science, how to make and contribute sky observations through the easy-to-use GLOBE Observer app, and resources to support library programming on Earth day and beyond. (pw: star)

Register Now!
Meet The Presenters!

Programming Resources

Smartphone & Tablet Apps

Library patrons can contribute to NASA Earth science by downloading the free GLOBE Observer app, observing the sky, and contributing their observations to this international program.

Download The App!

Hands-on Activities

Earth Protective Atmosphere
Brief description goes here…

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Interactive Websites

Note: Please use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge to view these interactive websites.

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Cloud Cover Estimation

This interactive web-based tool allows you to calibrate your eye by practicing cloud cover estimation using images on the computer.

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Handouts

Cloud Teller 
Based on the popular fortune-telling game, this printable interactive craft and game familiarizes learners with cloud vocabulary and varying degrees of cloud cover.

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Cloud Identification Guide
This handout provides simple, step-by-step instructions for identifying cloud types. (Or, direct patrons to an interactive, web-based version of this guide: Cloud Identification Key.)

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Cloud Viewer
Print the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s Cloud Viewer, then cut out a “window” in the center of the page. Use the viewer to match labelled images to what you see in the sky outside!

View Handout

Promotional Materials

Images for Your Use

Click the image to view in a new browser window. Right-click on the image (Save image as…) to save the image to your computer.

Caption: View of the Earth’s fragile atmosphere, photographed by a weather balloon at an altitude of almost 60,000 feet.
Required credit: Image courtesy of NOAA

Caption: Planet Earth, as photographed by Apollo astronauts.
Required credit: Image courtesy of NASA

Caption: Hurricane Katrina as it makes landfall over the United States in 2005.
Required credit: Image courtesy of the International Space Station

Caption: A tornado touches down near a town in Kansas.
Required credit: Image courtesy of USGS

Cloud Identification Key
This interactive web-based tool asks a series of questions to help you narrow down the type of cloud you are observing. It can be used both for practice and in the field to identify clouds. (Or, provide a printed version of this tool:  the Cloud Identification Guide.)