Latest Highlights

NESEC Highlights as reported to the NASA Science Mission Directorate

May 2021

2021-06-09T12:55:11-05:00May 22nd, 2021|

On May 21 and 22, the NESEC-led GLOBE Observer team provided strong support to NASA’s inaugural citizen science event, CitSciCon. Five team members and three GLOBE Observer volunteer participants presented in five sessions (NASA Citizen [email protected] School; CitSci Lifelong Learning; NASA Citizen Science Near You; What comes after participation in a NASA citizen science project; Leading Discovery, Volunteers in their own Voices). GLOBE Observer was also a component of a partner presentation on the Fresh Eyes on River Ice project, which uses the GLOBE Observer app to monitor river ice, and Greatest Hits of NASA CitSci Discoveries. The GLOBE Observer team supported the event planning and promoted the event heavily through the GLOBE Program’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and the GLOBE Observer website. 5,000 people registered for the event, and 2,200 unique IP addresses tuned in. The event recordings are archived on the SciStarter YouTube channel.

April 2021

2021-05-06T11:31:09-05:00April 22nd, 2021|

On April 22, 2021, GLOBE Observer published a peer-reviewed paper, “GLOBE Observer and the GO on a Trail Data Challenge: A Citizen Science Approach to Generating a Global Land Cover Land Use Reference Dataset” in Frontiers in Climate. The paper defines GLOBE Observer land cover data collection and quality assurance methods. Authors include members of the NESEC GLOBE Observer team, partners at the National Park Service and Geoscience Australia, and volunteer participants who collected significant amounts of data during the 2019 GO on a Trail data challenge.

2021-05-19T14:19:14-05:00April 16th, 2021|

The NASA GLOBE Clouds team is working with NASA scientist Dr. Bill Smith, LaRC, to use GLOBE Cloud observations made by NASA interns to solve the terminator problem. The Solar Terminator or twilight zone is that line that separates the daylit side of a planet from the dark night side and can be a challenge for satellite algorithms to detect. From March 15 – April 16 Angela Rizzi, LaRC, and Marilé Colón Robles, LaRC, facilitated the Solar Terminator Intern Cloud Challenge. The challenge engaged interns across NASA in making “terminator” cloud observations using the GLOBE Observer app. These observations were made up to an hour after sunrise and within the hour before sunset. The Solar Terminator data will be used this summer by Dr. Smith and a NASA intern to try to improve cloud detection algorithms. Information about the related science was provided in five blogs. In addition, there was a closing webinar, Stay Connected to NASA through Citizen Science, which featured Jessica Taylor, LaRC, and Marc Kushner, HQ. The intern team collected over 200 observations including 157 terminator observations.

2021-04-19T11:16:44-05:00April 16th, 2021|

Image of student researcher

A research paper has been published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators by a student who participated in the summer 2020 Mosquito Mappers Virtual Internship cohort.  Dr. Rusty Low, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), led this project. The Virtual Mosquito Mappers were part of the 2020 STEM Enhancement in Earth Science program. High school student Kavita Kar’s paper titled The Effect of Poverty on Mosquito-borne Illness Across the United States seeks to determine the characteristics that make some communities more susceptible to diseases than others. Kar hypothesized that low-income communities are more vulnerable to mosquito-borne diseases. To test this hypothesis, she identified and studied characteristics that make communities susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases, including water in square miles, average temperature, population, population density, and poverty rates per county. Kar used regression analysis to understand the relationship between the above variables and the total number of mosquito-borne disease cases.

2021-04-23T13:55:29-05:00April 6th, 2021|

Presentation slide for the first live session.

Girl Scouts of the USA partnered with SciStarter to help girl scouts around the country complete their “Take Action for the Planet” projects focused on our climate. The GLOBE Observer app is one of four platforms recommended for participants to gather environmental observations. Four virtual sessions were organized to lead participants through their project development. The first session featured NASA GLOBE Clouds science lead, Marilé Colón Robles, as one of three guest speakers. Marilé presented to over 600 girl scouts about clouds and satellite comparisons to Terra, Aqua, CALIPSO, and geostationary satellites. The session was a way to inspire girl scouts to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through the opportunity to interact with female scientist role models.

2021-05-19T14:15:02-05:00April 6th, 2021|

Lead presentation slide showing co-presenters Marilé Colón Robles, Dr. Russanne Low, and Brian Campbell

Marile Colon Robles (NASA Langley Research Center), Dr. Russanne Low, (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies) and Brian Campbell (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) co-presented, “Transitions in Citizen Science with the GLOBE Program during a Global Pandemic: Shifting Gears from Data Collection to Data Literacy” at the 2021 American Philosophical Society’s “The Promise and Pitfalls of Citizen Science Symposium.” The presentation featured a discussion on the NASA GLOBE Observer app for citizen science, highlighting the comparison of the space-based and ground-based observations, focusing on the four protocol observations (Clouds, Mosquito Habitats, Land Cover, and Trees) and the lessons learned in citizen science during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This symposium, according to the American Philosophical Society, “…reflects the work of Benjamin Franklin and others who lacked formal training and whose work sometimes went unacknowledged but whose contributions significantly added to the advancement of knowledge. It hopes to expand upon the theme of the exhibition by exploring understandings of citizen science over time, placing historical initiatives in conversation with present day projects as well as reflecting on the future needs and opportunities of the movement.”

2021-04-23T13:58:37-05:00April 2nd, 2021|

Dr. Russanne Low, science lead for GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper, conducted two online sessions (March 24 and April 2) as part of the Malaria Vector Surveillance Workshop, led by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative VectorLink Ethiopia Project. 50 Ethiopian mosquito health professionals completed the virtual training, offered as part of two 8-day workshops held in Addis Ababa. The Mosquito Habitat Mapper and Land Cover tools in the GLOBE Observer app provide the capability for the professionals to collect and archive field data necessary to conduct surveillance identifying Anopheles stephensi, a new invasive malaria vector in Africa. This mosquito distinguishes itself from other malaria vectors because it is the first one identified in Africa that uses manufactured containers as breeding sites. As a result, new mosquito surveillance and mitigation strategies are needed by public health units, and GLOBE Observer is one tool being employed. NSF-funded research collaborators from University of South Florida (NSF Grant #2014547) are providing 200 clip-on microscopes for use with the Mosquito Habitat Mapper data collection to workshop participants.

February 2021

2021-02-09T09:25:19-05:00February 5th, 2021|

January 2021

2021-01-11T12:00:13-05:00January 8th, 2021|

Success story preview image

November 2020

2020-12-03T09:57:17-05:00November 30th, 2020|

September 2020

2021-02-09T09:25:57-05:00September 23rd, 2020|

2020-09-21T15:54:29-05:00September 16th, 2020|