Previous Highlights

NESEC Highlights as reported to the NASA Science Mission Directorate

November 2021

2021-12-10T10:58:56-05:00November 19th, 2021|

Two prominent science news organizations featured GLOBE Observer citizen science in the past month. On October 29, the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) EOS news highlighted GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper in an article titled “App Tracks Harmful Mosquitos with Help from Crowdsourced Science.” The article is a summary of a peer-reviewed publication published in GeoHealth in August 2021 (GeoHealth,, 2021).

On November 18, Discover Magazine published an article called “Four Ways (in One App) to Help NASA Study the Changing Planet.” This article is a high-level summary of how citizen scientists can support NASA science by using the GLOBE Observer app to collect observations of clouds, land cover, mosquito habitats, and trees. The article originally appeared on the SciStarter website and was republished by Discover.

2021-12-10T10:16:50-05:00November 18th, 2021|

On November 18, 2021, NESEC team members Dr. Russanne Low, Peder Nelson, Cassie Soeffing, Andrew Clark and the 2020 cohort of SEES Mosquito Mappers Research Team published a new peer-reviewed article in Frontiers in Climate, Adopt a Pixel 3 km: A Multiscale Data Set Linking Remotely Sensed Land Cover Imagery with Field Based Citizen Science Observation. This data report documents Adopt a Pixel 3 km, a method for systematically collecting GLOBE Land Cover and Mosquito Habitat data with the GLOBE Observer app and classifying correlating high resolution satellite imagery. It documents data collected and analyses done by 74 high school research interns participating in the STEM Enhancement in Earth Sciences summer research experience. Read the paper: Low, R.D., Nelson, P.V., Soeffing, C., Clark, A., SEES 2020 Mosquito Mappers Research Team. (2021) Adopt a Pixel 3 km: A Multiscale Data Set Linking Remotely Sensed Land Cover Imagery with Field Based Citizen Science Observation. Frontiers in Climate, 18.

September 2021

2021-09-28T12:04:56-05:00September 28th, 2021|

During the summer of 2021, in-person camps finally resumed as did the GLOBE Goes to Camp Pilot ​​an activity under the NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative (NESEC) SciAct award. Eleven camps from eleven states across the U.S. participated in the summer pilot. Over 45 camp directors, staff and facilitators participated in one of six GLOBE protocol trainings that were provided to ensure proper data collection techniques. Monthly meetings with the camp directors provided the opportunity to share lessons learned, ask questions, and begin to develop a network of GLOBE Camps. Through a series of NASA SME connections, campers were able to interact with NASA scientists, learn about their various missions, share the data they were collecting, and learn from other campers. The excitement was evident as the campers recognized the fact that they were actually connecting with and contributing to NASA and the GLOBE Community. The satellite match emails brought a sense of authentication and excitement to the camps’ efforts, as a “cool” factor that campers were able to share with their families. Across the eleven camps, over 2000 campers were engaged in an authentic NASA GLOBE data collection experience. All-in-all, it was truly a “NASAtastic experience for all” as Amy Ellisor from Camp Discovery was often heard to say.

2021-09-28T09:14:36-05:00September 28th, 2021|

The 2021 Earth System Explorers virtual internship connected 96 high school interns with the exciting science of applying NASA Earth observations to the global health threat of mosquito vector-borne diseases. The project engaged participants in 120 to 150 hours of research and an opportunity to work closely with NASA SME mentors. Spread over 8 weeks @ approximately 15 hrs/week this flexible internship accommodated summer jobs and family responsibilities. Participants experienced field research, using remotely sensed data, computer science, and data analysis while contributing to the scientific understanding of mosquito ecology, human health, and land cover classification. Interns accessed and analyzed data using online tools such as the GLOBE Advanced Data Access Tool, Collect Earth Online, AppEARS, NASA Worldview, Climate Engine, Google Earth Engine, and ArcGIS Online. Data products and research outcomes resulting from the Earth System Explorers team will be the basis of a co-authored peer-reviewed research paper, an individual or team poster submission to AGU Bright STaRS, and student research projects submitted to the 2022 GLOBE International Virtual Science Symposium (IVSS). The SEES Earth System Explorers internship is led by the NASA Earth Science Education Collaboration in collaboration with the University of Texas Space Grant SEES Internship.

2021-09-28T12:21:20-05:00September 27th, 2021|

A badge showing a graphical representation of mosquito habitats on a landscape with the words Mosquito Habitat Photo Challenge 2021
Between July 25 and August 25, the NESEC-led GLOBE Observer team held the Mosquito Habitat Photo Challenge, which asked volunteers to collect concurrent observations of mosquito habitats and land cover. Given the complexity of the data collection request, we created seven new support products and a new email initiative. New products included an activity tracker (in English, Spanish, and Chinese) with activities that encourage learning about the science or skills required for data collection (575 downloads), a handout showing how to photograph mosquito larvae (495 downloads), a data dashboard dynamically showing data submitted during the challenge (12,541 views), a guide showing how to take concurrent land cover and mosquito habitat observations (120 downloads), a badge (42 downloads), a participation certificate (110 downloads), and a certificate for those who submitted data (66 downloads). All products were hosted on the Mosquito Habitat Photo Challenge page on the GLOBE Observer website. As part of the new email initiative with the goal of supporting users, we sent weekly email updates to participants in the GLOBE Mission Mosquito campaign, the GLOBE U.S. Partners Forum, Trees Around the GLOBE campaign, and posted on GLOBE social media, GLOBE Observer news, and to users who opted in to receive communication from us. Those who opted in to receive communication and submitted data (49 people) also received a special certificate at the conclusion of the challenge. Web statistics indicate that most people who received the special certificate (hosted on a hidden URL) downloaded it, while the general participation certificate was only downloaded by 110 users, indicating that email communication is highly effective even though the reach for this challenge was small.

2021-09-28T12:17:55-05:00September 27th, 2021|

MHPC Partner Webinar Screenshot
Between July 25 and August 25, the NESEC-led GLOBE Observer team held the Mosquito Habitat Photo Challenge, which asked volunteers to collect concurrent observations of mosquito habitats and land cover. During this challenge, the team made a concerted effort to engage partners who could support volunteers in their communities. NESEC distributed clip-on cell phone microscopes to 15 partner organizations to support their participation in the challenge and in GLOBE in the future. Many of these partners held events or other activities to support volunteers. The Los Angeles Public Library translated the challenge activity tracker into Spanish and Chinese to better engage their communities and held a public webinar. Australia’s National Science Agency (CSIRO), Alabama Water Watch, the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), the Midwest Center for Vector-Borne Disease and NASA’s Science Activation Program all hosted webinars about the challenge. The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District held an Instagram Live event with Autumn Burdick, GLOBE Observer communications lead. The Smoky Mountain STEM Collaborative included the challenge as part of an event called GLOBE in the Park. La Salle Public Library in Illinois recruited and trained a small number of very active volunteers, and the NASA STEM Enhancement in Earth Science (SEES) interns were among the top data contributors. NESEC will continue to cultivate these partnerships to enable ongoing community-based implementation of GLOBE with GLOBE Observer.

2021-09-28T12:14:31-05:00September 27th, 2021|

A sample of the nearly 500 mosquito larvae photos submitted through GLOBE Observer during the Mosquito Habitat Photo Challenge. The image is a screenshot from the challenge wrap up video available at
Between July 25 and August 25, the NESEC-led GLOBE Observer team held the Mosquito Habitat Photo Challenge, which asked volunteers to collect concurrent observations of mosquito habitats and land cover. The goal for holding the challenge was to generate data, specifically photos, to support newly funded work in artificial intelligence/machine learning. The challenge resulted in an increased rate of data collection and brought in new users, which should increase data volume going forward. 1,825 observations were submitted from 31 countries with the most observations coming from Thailand (62%), the United States (27%), and India (3%). These observations included more than 6,200 photographs, including 489 photographs of mosquito larvae, more than 1,300 water habitats and 4,500 photographs of land cover around potential mosquito habitats. 516 people submitted land cover or mosquito habitat data during the challenge period, and among these, nearly half contributed more than one observation. People who submitted mosquito data were more likely to contribute multiple observations. 1,895 new GLOBE Observer accounts were created during the challenge with peaks in activity occurring during major communication events on July 23 (NASA Reddit AMA and Instagram story) and August 20 (NASA Earth Instagram Reel and World Mosquito Day social media posts).

2021-09-28T12:10:41-05:00September 27th, 2021|

Between July 25 and August 25, GLOBE Observer held the Mosquito Habitat Photo Challenge, which asked volunteers to collect observations of mosquito habitats and land cover. Communication efforts for the challenge reached 2.5 million people. Highlights include a Reddit AMA (reached 64.2k), NASA Instagram/Facebook story (1.4 million), an Instagram Reel on NASA Earth Instagram (141.6k), two videos on NASA Earth Facebook here and here (also shared on NASA Earth Twitter) (236.6k), a Twitter thread on NASA Earth (54.5k), and a NASA Earth Facebook post for World Mosquito Day (141.7k).

August 2021

2021-09-28T09:05:53-05:00August 12th, 2021|

The NESEC-led GLOBE Mission Mosquito campaign partnered with the American Philosophical Society to present an interactive webinar exploring their virtual lesson, “A Malignant Tale.” The lesson focuses on Philadelphia’s 1793 yellow fever epidemic (a vector-borne disease). Participants learned the details of how Caspar Wistar Haines and his family experienced the city-wide epidemic. Through letters, they discovered the role of the Free African Society in taking care of Philadelphians during this time of need and the sacrifices they made. Participants made connections between the 1793 epidemic and today, via these personal stories, the roles of essential workers, and the history of science and medicine. The lesson is available here. Ali Rospond, Museum Education Coordinator, American Philosophical Society wrote a blog for the GLOBE Mission Mosquito website about the 1793 yellow fever epidemic.

July 2021

2021-08-16T08:19:47-05:00July 16th, 2021|

The NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative (NESEC) team supported the GLOBE Annual Meeting with 6 hour-long training sessions (Introduction to the GLOBE Observer app, and protocols including Clouds, Tree Height, Land Cover, and Mosquito Habitat Mapper); 7 community sessions (12 minutes each plus Q&A), 2 workshops, 5 posters, participation in the education working group, and moderating 3 GLOBE networking sessions. For one community session on welcoming new partners to GLOBE, the NESEC team created a video of interviews with out-of-school partners who talked about why they participate in GLOBE and how they are implementing GLOBE in a camp, National Park, public library, with families and as lifelong learners.  Student Showcase presentations included presentations of research projects mentored by NESEC team members.

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