NASA Atmospheric Data: Creating a Buzz in the Earth Science Classroom

Friday 2:00pm REC Center Large Ice Overlook Room


Lin Chambers, NASA Langley Research Cener
The NASA Science Mission Directorate's (SMD's) vision for Education is:

"To share the story, the science, and the adventure of NASA's scientific explorations of our home planet, [...] through stimulating and informative activities and experiences created by experts, delivered effectively and efficiently to learners of many backgrounds via proven conduits, thus providing a return on the public's investment in NASA's scientific research."

In support of this vision, NASA has created a variety of resources and made available a variety of data useful to geoscience educators. This presentation will focus on a segment of those resources and data, for teaching about the Earth's atmosphere and energy budget, as they apply to changing albedo in Northern hemisphere regions.

1) GLOBE and S'COOL ( and Since the mid-90's, both projects have engaged students and educators in observing the environment around them. S'COOL, which is a more focused project dealing with remote sensing of clouds, is currently being integrated within the GLOBE program to enrich its atmosphere investigations by connecting student observations to satellite retrievals of cloud information. It provides opportunities for students to directly compare remotely sensed satellite data to their own observations from the ground.
2) MY NASA DATA ( offers a collection of more than 200 Earth system parameters obtained from a variety of NASA satellite instruments through a single interface to simplify access for scientific inquiry and educational purposes. A collection of ~100 lesson plans provide ideas for starting points to explore these authentic data.
3) Energy budget ( In connection with the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) satellite project, a variety of resources have been created to help students understand the Earth's energy budget and the related topic of the greenhouse effect.