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.
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.
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.
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.