Image from TERRA
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:29 EDT

The largest fire in California's history, the Mendocino Complex, is still spewing clouds of smoke across the state.

Image from TERRA
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 12:38 EDT

After Tropical Storm Yagi made landfall in China, NASA's Aqua satellite saw the storm was moving inland and dropping heavy rainfall.

Image from TERRA
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 13:54 EDT

NASA's Terra satellite caught an infrared view of former typhoon Shanshan off the east coast of Japan and saw the storm fading.

Citizen Science

The Citizens and Remote Sensing Observation Network (CARSON) is designed to show citizen scientists how to explore satellite data to make wide-scale environmental observations. Each chapter of the CARSON guide includes instructions for a local observation and an extension to make the same observation on a global scale using satellite data.

Air Quality

Track visibility from the ground, and then use satellite images to identify pollution coming into your region from other places. This activity also includes extensions for other air quality observations.

Nitrogen is a common pollutant found in streams. It fuels algae growth, which can lead to dead zones where little can live. Citizens measure nitrogen concentrations in their local waterways and compare those concentrations to phytoplankton growth in the ocean nearest their watershed.

Precipitation

Throughout history, humans have strived to understand and even control weather and climate. By developing an understanding of the patterns of rainfall, scientists are making possible increasingly accurate weather, flood and drought forecasts. This activity connects backyard observations of rainfall to satellite measurements of rain to study both local and broad precipitation patterns.

Earth Science Labs

These citizen science activities have been adapted into Earth science labs and lessons designed for high school or advanced middle school students. It may be used to support national science education standards NS 9-12.6, personal and social perspectives.