720 Global Weather Watchers Campaign: An Earth SySTEM Project

Wednesday, 13 January 2016
John Moore, AMS Board on Outreach and Precollege Education, Laurel Springs, NJ; and T. Schmit and M. Mooney

“The United States and the world are warming, global sea level is rising, and some types of extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more severe. These changes have already resulted in a wide range of impacts across every region of the country and many sectors of the economy. Today, America needs reliable scientific information about current and future changes, impacts, and effective response options.” (www.globalchange.gov)

This K12 Earth SySTEM project will result in the addition of a NASA/NOAA satellite (GOES-R) to the GLOBE Program (www.globe.gov) Satellite Partnership, thus developing an Earth SySTEM presence within the GLOBE community. Recent NGSS and STEM education discussions make this an opportune time for GLOBE to offer concrete and innovative direction to a nation looking for answers. While GLOBE has conducted a Climate Change Student Research Campaign (2011-2013), GLOBE has never introduced teachers and students to the fundamental principles of weather, meteorology, and atmospheric sciences, not to mention satellite meteorology. Adding the GOES-R satellite to the current array of GLOBE Satellite Partnerships contributes to the idea of students learning and applying imagery and data derived for Earth Observing Satellites while introducing participants to the world of NOAA meteorological satellites.

This project will use the SPACE to EARTH: EARTH to SPACE (SEES) model. Students using established GLOBE Atmospheric Protocols, will complete ground verification/truth data in comparison to satellite imagery. These include (but are not limited too) Min-Max temperature, Barometric Pressure, Clouds, Precipitation (rainfall, and snow cover), Soil Temperature/Moisture. Using the SatCam app, students will record and report data from their locations, and send the corresponding satellite image to the community creating a digital satellite imagery library for the GLOBE community to share. The American Meteorological Society “endorses the challenge that every precollege student be provided with the opportunity to learn about the Earth as a system through the incorporation of cutting- edge technologies as a part of STEM education, providing students with meaningful STEM learning experiences” (Earth System STEM Education Policy Statement, 2014).

Through this project a metadata resource will be generated. Students will begin to investigate and document hazardous and severe weather in their region establishing the metadata record of extreme weather events in their region. This metadata can include personal photographs, and various media coverage, broadcast, print, etc.

Utilizing the GLOBE Visualization tool, real or near real time satellite imagery can create a new data layer. Intense Observation Periods (IOP's) will be developed to conduct investigations through meteorological “seasons”, i.e. summer drought and/or flash flooding, fire, hurricane, winter storms, tornado, extreme weather events etc. The AMS Earth System STEM Education Policy Statement states that the “AMS highly recommends and encourages the use of datasets, computer models and visualizations, remote-sensing technologies, and field experiences. These tools provide ever-evolving and challenging opportunities for students as they participate in meaningful scientific and technological experiences as a part of STEM education focusing on the Earth system utilizing an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and synergistic approach.” Using satellite imagery and data is the first step in developing a Geoscience and Remote Sensing Laboratory where students can study and investigate earth from space opening up global opportunities. The creation of the global community began at the 25th GLOBE Annual Meeting held in Los Angeles, California in July 2015.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner