It was a great first week of observation taking. I managed to take observations three times. The temperature dramatically went down between Monday and Friday.
I noticed that some of the observations have errors. One of the biggest issues is students not using the correct universal time. Remember that universal time is the time at 0 degrees longitude. It is also on a 24 hour clock.
Keep up the good work taking observations. If you post them to the GLOBE website, I can take a look at them. Please try to do it every day.
Snow cover in the United States has changed rapidly. The pictures below show the snow cover and depth on December 3, 2013 and then again on December 6, 2013. The weather has been quite active in the Northern Hemisphere, both the United States and in Europe. There was a little more snow in Eastern Europe as well.
Here are the schools that have entered data so far.
David Wooster Middle School – Connecticut
Bellefontaine High School, Ohio – Hi Dennis
Birchwood School, Ohio – Hi Linda
Main Street Intermediate School, Ohio – Hi Marcy
Archbold Middle School, Ohio
The University of Toledo, Ohio – These are my students.
Mohican School of the Outdoors, Ohio – Hi James and Susan
Eastwood Elementary School, West Virginia
Huntington High School, West Virginia – Hi Rick
Lexington Junior high school, Ohio – Hi Linda
Lakewood Catholic Academy, Ohio – Hi Eileen
Otsego High School, Ohio – Hi Debbie
Bowling Green State University, Ohio – Hi Jodi
Stryker High School, Ohio – Hi Donneen
Some of the data is not showing up yet. Only the surface temperature observations near noon are showing up. The other ones just disappeared. There must have been a server problem.
A fairly strong cold front is coming down from Michigan this Monday, November 11, 2013. Below is a great map that is available through the Weather Underground, http://wunderground.com As you can see in the image, colder air is coming in (cold air advection) from Michigan. It is snowing in placing as close as Jackson, Michigan. The blue is snow in the radar and green is rain.
It snowed. It was a lot of fun driving around last night in the snow. This high pressure system is bringing the cold air all the way down to Florida. There are forst warnings in Florida. That is usually the type of thing that may happen in January. The high pressure is 1048 mb which, if you remember contouring the maps, is very high. There is also a fair amount of lake effect snow that is kicking off this morning due to the cold air passing over the warm lakes. Take a look at the map east of Cleveland, in the UP of Michigan, at the south end of Lake Michigan, in the northern part of the lower penninsula of Michigan and into New York.
WyomingView sponsored students present their research findings in 2013 Geospatial Conference of the West (GeCo West) Conference
Reposted from the WyomingView Blog.
Sarah Arulswamy, a 9th grade student at Laramie Junior High School, has been studying the urban heat island effects in Laramie since summer 2012. Earlier she presented her findings based on summer, fall and winter data in the 2013 Wyoming Science Fair. She continued her study in spring 2013 and presented the findings in this conference. Urban heat island effect was evident in spring but at a much lesser magnitude than what she observed in 2012 summer (Figure below).
There are still fires burning out west. The fire near/in Yosemite park is still going strong. In the satellite image below, you can see the smoke coming from the fire. These are images taken from the GOES satellite on Aug. 31 at 0:15 Z which is about 8:15 pm eastern time. It was getting dark in Toledo but the sun was still up out west. You can see the wind is blowing from the southwest so that the smoke is blowing to the northeast. You can see the same thing for the fires burning in Idaho. You can see in the 500 mb map that the flow is from the southwest to northeast in that area.
Some of the reason that this is such a big fire is due to the federal government having a policy to fight fires. The forests around Yosemite need fire in order for the pinecones to open dispersing the seeds. If the fires happen frequently, there is not a lot of fuel available and the fire burns slowly leaving the large, old trees alive. But, since fires have been suppressed for over 50 years, there is a large amount of fuel available for a file. This year’s fire is burning too hot so that all of the old trees are being burned to the ground. I have heard that there are over 4000 firefighters fighting the Yosemite fire.
The second photo shows a supercell thunderstorm in Montana with an overshooting top. An overshooting top can be seen by its shadow in the image. It indicates that the thunderstorm is very strong and severe. The overshooting part of the storm is produced by the updraft. The updraft is so strong that it goes into the Stratosphere, i.e. overshooting top.
This is reposted from the GLOBE blog.
Last week we highlighted the 2013 GLOBE Virtual Student Conference, a showcase of student research being performed using GLOBE protocols. This week, the focus is on the 2nd Annual Student Research Exhibition, an event that features GLOBE Country Coordinator or U.S. Partner sponsored student research projects.
Last year, the 1st Annual Student Research Exhibition (formerly the Student Science Symposium) was held in St. Paul, Minnesota in conjunction with the 16th Annual GLOBE Partner Meeting. After the great success of the event, the decision was made to make it an annual event in an attempt to involve GLOBE Students in the GLOBE Partner Meetings. In May of 2013, the call for nominations for student research projects to participate in this event was sent to all GLOBE Country Coordinators and U.S. Partners in the hopes that this event would include the top research from each area.
The 2nd Annual Student Research Exhibition event was held on Monday, 12 August, 2013 in conjunction with the 17th Annual GLOBE Partner meeting in Hyattsville, Maryland, USA. Ten countries participated in the one night event, which included over 70 students from all grade levels. Those ten countries, Argentina, Croatia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United States, and Uruguay , represented all GLOBE regions, and schools presented their research either in-person, through a poster presentation, or virtually, via either a video or PowerPoint presentation. Additionally, each of the 33 research projects performed protocols in at least one of the 5 GLOBE investigation areas.
A student from Saudi Arabia presents her research during the 2nd Annual Student Research Exhibiton
In addition to the breadth of research topics and protocols used, students approached their research differently. One student worked on her own to understand sea surface temperature. There was a group of students who explored how they could harness fresh water for use at their school. Another project was collaborative between three countries, Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay, and it explored how ENSO and human activities are affecting their land cover. While these are just a sampling of the projects, each research team presented outstanding research to the greater GLOBE community.
All student projects were judged on pre-determined criteria by members of the GLOBE International Scientist Network. The projects were judged on a maximum of 100 points in the areas of creative ability, use of GLOBE data, scientific expression, thoroughness, knowledge achieved and clarity.
With these criteria in mind, the following projects were the winners of the 2nd Annual Student Research Exhibition.
In third place, representing the country of Croatia and the GLOBE Europe and Eurasia Region was the project entitled Water quality and the revitalization potential of Mrtvi Kanal Channel, studied by students at Medicinska skola u Rijeci.
Students from Medicinska skola u Rijeci stand with their teacher in front of their poster
In second place, representing the country of Thailand and the GLOBE Asia and Pacific Region was the project entitled Measured concentration of nitrate in water from the bulb of Wetland plan Nepnthes in Bung Khong Long, Thailand, studied by students at Bung Khong Long Wittayakom School.
Students from Bung Khong Long Wittayakom school accept their second place award with their teacher
And in first place, representing the country of the United States and the GLOBE North America Region was the project entitled Correlations between vernal pool phenology and a breeding population of Bufo americanus in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, studied by students at Crestwood High School. You can read a summary of this winning project here.
Students from Crestwood High School show off their award with GLOBE Program Office Scientist Jessica Mackaro
The GLOBE Program would like to extend a big thank you to all of the scientists, teachers and students who were involved in this fantastic event.
If you’ve been performing research, you don’t need to wait for the Virtual Student Conference or the Student Research Exhibition to share your research with the GLOBE Community. You can submit projects year round through the “Tell Us About It” link on your school’s page. Additionally, if you’re a scientist who would like to be involved in The GLOBE Program, be sure to visit the GLOBE International Scientist Network page to find out more information.
I am on a road trip to visit GLOBE Partners, trainers, teachers and students to talk with them about the projects they do and share the type of projects my students do.
I have been working with teachers and students to develop scientific projects where students take observations through the GLOBE Program, share them on the internet and research real-world scientific problems. I have found that when the students are doing real science, they are more interested in learning science. I will be traveling in the mountain states from June 12 to July 7. My goal is to meet and visit teachers who may be interested in learning more about projects that students can do. I travelled with my two sons, Robby (14) and Timmy (10).
Day 4 through 8:
We made it to Boulder, Colorado where I’m helping with a train-the-trainer workshop to train GLOBE trainers. The workshop is June 17-19. I led atmosphere training for the trainers on June 17. I had the participants research the protocols for atmosphere: air temperature, precipitation, soil temperature, surface temperature, clouds and condensation trails and relative humidity. The participants then came up with a research question that they could answer in about an hour of taking observations and reported out to the group. I related having students doing scientific research to kids playing soccer. Even though kids are not professional soccer players, they always get to play the game (and get a snack afterwards). Just like soccer, teachers should have students doing scientific investigation in the classroom so that they can learn science. Sometimes, teachers feel that you have to be a professional scientist to do science. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) really follows the idea that students will learn science best by doing science. They all can play the game. It is always nice to have a snack afterwards as well.
There are a lot of nice people being trained to be trainers for GLOBE. It is really exciting to see.
We then took the long drive to visit with Paul Adams. Paul is a professor in science education at Fort Hays State University. His wife, four children and the wife of his oldest son hosted a wonderful dinner for us. Hays is very far from anywhere.
We drove to Cedar Falls, Iowa to visit with Marcy Seavey, 3 teachers and 5 students she organized to meet with us. Marcey is the Project Director of the Iowa Academy of Sciences. On the way, we stopped at Castle Rock State Park in Illinois and took a hike and then we went to Antique Archaeology that is featured on the American Pickers TV show.
Our visit with Marcy, the teachers and students was a great sharing opportunity. A new Orange Elementary School was built down the road and the kids took the latitude and longitude using the GPS protocol. The kids also took surface temperature readings around the Arboretum.
Then, one of the teachers and her students shared with us a project that they did for the International Space Station (ISS). It was interesting because her 7th grade students used the term ISS like everyone should know what it is.
Timmy showed everyone the thermal camera. He showed them how the camera can image a hand through a black garbage bag but cannot image the hand through clear plexiglass.
Marcy provided pizza and drinks. It was a really nice time.
We drove from our home in Temperance, MI to Naperville, IL to meet with Greg Lapotka. Greg volunteers at the Morton Arboretum and has students come to take GLOBE observations. It sounds like a great opportunity for the kids. It normally costs $10-$14 to get in but Greg has worked to make it so it is free for the families taking the observations. They have a GLOBE station set up for air temperature and precipitation. They do green up and green down with the nice trees. They also take surface temperature observations for my surface temperature field campaign each year.
We were late getting to the arboretum because it was rush hour. I took a wrong turn that cost us 30 minutes of time. When we got to the arboretum though, it was raining very hard. Several roads were closed in the arboretum so our visit was limited. Timmy was interested in the pervious parking lot that let the rain water in. We got a first hand look at it. Greg is a big Chicago Blackhawks fan and he is very excited that his team is in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
More to come. Dr. C
Students from Ida, Michigan and Lima, Peru have collaborated over the last three months to study their environments and share their observations with each other. Students from Mrs. Kathy Zeichman’s 4th grade class from Ida Elementary School in Southeast Michigan took observations through the GLOBE Program every Tuesday and Thursday. The GLOBE Program (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment http://www.globe.gov) is an international program that helps students explore their environments. Students develop research questions, take observations and analyze data to address their question. The students in Mrs. Zeichman’s 4th grade class measured the surface temperature of a concrete sidewalk, blacktop parking space and nearby grassy area. They also observed the clouds, condensation trails and air temperature over a two month period. The students found that the asphalt was always warmer than the grass and concrete. The difference in temperature between the different surfaces was greatest on sunny days with little cloud cover.
In addition, the students developed research questions related to the temperatures of the playground. They wanted to know what the hottest surfaces were on the playground. Several of the students had gotten blisters by playing on the monkey bars. Their research showed that the metal of the bars was very hot and may have contributed.
Students in Mrs. Maria Milagros Gallegos Rioja science course at Colegio San Ignacio de Recalde in Lima Peru noted that their weather was “irregular”. Temperatures varied quite a bit from day to day. Students in Michigan found the same things. One day the temperatures they measured were around 25 C and then next they were 10 C. The temperature bounced around and the weather changed from cold to warm back to cold.
The students in Peru complained about the cold weather they were having. It turned out that the temperatures were about the same in Michigan, but because it was the start of spring, the students in Michigan considered those temperatures warm (about 20 C). The Michigan students were very surprised that Christmas occurs in Peru in their summer. It was the discussion about Christmas that helped both groups figure out that the seasons are opposite, summer in Michigan is winter in Peru and vice versa.
The students in Peru have been studying English for many years and the collaboration was a chance for the students to practice their English. The students in Michigan will have their first Spanish class in 7th grade. This was was an opportunity for them to start learning some phrases like hola (hello), Cómo te llamas? (what is your name?), and Ciao (the way they say goodbye in Peru).
The day of the first Skype call was one of the Michigan student’s 10th birthday. The students in Peru wished him a happy birthday by singing “Feliz cumpleanos a ti!”.
The students worked with Dr. Kevin Czajkowski from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Czajkowski is a GLOBE scientist as well as being the director of the University of Toledo’s GLOBE Partnership. He assisted with the collaboration and helped the students interpret the data they gathered.
There were some technical problems that the students had to overcome. On the final Skype call, the microphone in Peru stopped working. The students in Michigan explained the results of the projects and had to ask if the students in Peru could hear them. A thumbs up was used to indicate that they could.
After the final Skype call, the students in Michigan wanted to continue their collaboration next year in fifth grade. The last day of school in Michigan is June 10, 2013. The students will come back to school in fifth grade in September. The students in Peru just started their school year and will be going through October.
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Landsat Mission News
Welcome Landsat 8!
Since 1972, Landsat satellites have collected information about Earth from space. On February 11, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) was launched successfully to continue the repetitive acquisition of high quality multispectral data of the Earth’s surface. Since launch, checkout activities have included systems initialization and calibration activities, directing the spacecraft to perform orbit maneuvers, and moving into operational orbit (WRS-2).
On May 30, 2013, the checkout period was completed, and the USGS officially became the operational manager of the Mission during an official ceremony. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission will henceforth be known as Landsat 8. Landsat 8 is designed for a 5-year lifespan, and carries 10 years of fuel onboard. Data products from Landsat 8 are now available for download to all users at no charge from EarthExplorer (http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov), GloVis (http://glovis.usgs.gov), and the LandsatLook Viewer (http://landsatlook.usgs.gov)!
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Landsat Product Information
Landsat 8 Data Product Details
The data products available from Landsat 8 are processed to be consistent with Landsat 1 through 7 data products. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) instruments onboard are providing over 400 new scenes per day.
Processing details include:
GeoTIFF output format
Cubic Convolution (CC) resampling method
30-meter (OLI multispectral); 15-meter (OLI panchromatic); 100-meter (TIRS) pixel sizes
Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) map projection (Polar Stereographic in Antarctica)
World Geodetic System (WGS) 84 datum
MAP (North-up) image orientation
Data products are 16-bit
Landsat 8’s additional bands will create a larger data file size, at approximately 1 GB with compression. (See http://landsat.usgs.gov/band_designations_landsat_satellites.php for band designations for all Landsat sensors). More information can be found at http://landsat.usgs.gov/LDCM_DataProduct.php.
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New Multispectral Scanner (MSS) Data Available
The workhorse of the Landsat 5 mission was the Thematic Mapper (TM) instrument. After the TM sensor failed in November 2011, the Multispectral Scanner (MSS) instrument was brought back online a few months later. The MSS had not acquired data for over a decade.
While the MSS was acquiring data, the Landsat ground station was crafting new capabilities to ingest the raw instrument data. The data have recently been successfully ingested and are available from EarthExplorer, GloVis, and LandsatLook Viewer. More details on the new MSS data are available at http://landsat.usgs.gov/NewMSSProduct.php.
Old Metadata Format Removed
Since August 2012, all Landsat products have included a new metadata format to align with operational data from the Landsat Data Continuity Mission/Landsat 8. The historic metadata file was included to allow users enough transition time to adjust to the new format.
Although a number of scenes will continue to have both metadata files until the data is removed from Downloadable status and reprocessed, Landsat scenes processed after April 29, 2013 will no longer have the “*_MTLold.txt” file.
Landsat 8 Quality Assessment Band Information
The new Quality Assessment (QA) band is an important addition to Landsat 8 data files. Each pixel in the QA band contains a decimal value that represents bit-packed combinations of surface, atmosphere, and sensor conditions that can affect the overall usefulness of a given pixel.
Used effectively, QA bits improve the integrity of science investigations by indicating which pixels might be affected by instrument artifacts or subject to cloud contamination. Details about the Landsat 8 QA band can be found at http://landsat.usgs.gov/L8QualityAssessmentBand.php.
Landsat 8 Reflectance and Radiance Conversions
Standard Landsat 8 data products are delivered in 16-bit unsigned integer format. To match data products from Landsat 1 through Landsat 7, the Landsat 8 data can be rescaled to the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) reflectance and/or radiance using radiometric rescaling coefficients provided in the product metadata file (MTL file). The MTL file also contains the thermal constants needed to convert TIRS data to the at-satellite brightness temperature.
Conversion formulas to TOA Radiance, TOA Reflectance, and At-Satellite Brightness Temperature are located at http://landsat.usgs.gov/Landsat8_Using_Product.php.
Questions about Landsat 8?
Questions about Landsat 8, the Landsat Missions, or Landsat data products can be directed to Landsat Customer Services: email@example.com.
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Tips and Tricks
Learning More about Landsat Surface Reflectance Climate Data Records
Landsat Surface Reflectance products are available on-demand from the archive of Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) data. The 30+ year archive of data enables the generation of Climate Data Records (CDRs) to support land surface change studies and the creation of other geophysical and biophysical parameters.
Landsat surface reflectance CDRs are generated using the Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS), originally developed through a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) grant by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the University of Maryland (Masek et al., 2008). The software is an adaptation of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) atmospheric correction routines to process Level-1 Landsat TM or ETM+ data.
Water vapor, ozone, geopotential height, aerosol optical thickness, and digital elevation data are used with Landsat data as inputs to the Second Simulation of a Satellite Signal in the Solar Spectrum (6S) radiative transfer model to generate top of atmosphere (TOA) reflectance, surface reflectance, brightness temperature, and masks for clouds and cloud shadows. The results are bundled and delivered as the Landsat surface reflectance CDR product.
Landsat Surface Reflectance CDRs are available to download from EarthExplorer (http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov). Additional information about Surface Reflectance CDR’s can be found at http://landsat.usgs.gov/documents/cdr_sr_product_guide.pdf.
Masek, J.G., Huang, C., Wolfe, R., Cohen, W., Hall, F., Kutler, J., and Nelson, P. (2008). North American forest disturbance mapped from a decadal Landsat record. Remote Sensing of Environment. 112:2914-2926.
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Landsat Image of Interest
LDCM Long Swath Visualization
On April 19, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission passed over one long swath from Russia to southern Africa: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/landsat/news/russia-south-africa.html.
Our mission partners at NASA crafted a beautiful fly-over that includes this image of the Ethiopian Highlands (Lake Tana is in the upper right).
Landsat Image of Interest
In Alaska, each year there is a contest to see who can predict when the ice will go out in the spring on the Tanana River in Nenana, Alaska. It is called the Nenana Ice Classic. People wager some money and then there is a prize of over $300,000 for the closest answer.
You can look at the break-up dates on the brochure on the website. They are on side B.There is also a graph over time here.
The average date that the ice goes is about May 5. Today it is May 19 so the ice is still in very late. The latest date on record was in 1964 when the ice went out on May 20. It has been cold in Alaska the last couple of days. This may be a record breaking year.
This data series of ice break-up has been used as an example of climate change/global warming. The ice has been going out earlier and earlier in the last 20 years. Some questions come to my mind. Does this year’s record affect the conclusion that climate change is making ice break-up earlier in the spring? Is the a fluke or part of a new trend? What do you think about it?
In addition, ice has been going out late in northern Minnesota and southern Canada. It was a cool spring in those areas.
We had another successful OhioView SATELLITES Conference May 7, 2013 at Penta Career Center. The student projects get better every year and we learn more new things each year. It was a beautiful day outside but everyone was so engaged inside that I don’t think anyone noticed.
Students have developed their research projects over the last several months. Many used GLOBE protocols of surface temperature, clouds, snow and water quality. Other students gathered data off of NASA websites or used satellite imagery like Landsat. They presented their projects on poster boards and shared them at the conference Tuesday.
The science was good, the students were engaged and the trophies were big. Steve Frantz from Roswell-Kent Middle School in Akron, OH and his students gave the keynote address. He did a great job of highlighting all of the different projects that his students work on and the contests they won. One student won a contest to make use of a potato chip bag. She made a birdhouse.
Here is a video of the conference.
Here are the winners by grade level.
|1st||Eileen McGuire||Maggie Cornelison||Lakewood Catholic Academy||
|2nd||Kathy Zeichman||Timmy Czajkowski||Ida Elementary||
|3rd||Laura Galati||Hunter Lenhardt||Longfellow Elementary School||
|1st||Steve Frantz||Morgan Rardon||Roswell-Kent Middle School||
|2nd||Steve Frantz||Justin Rumel||Roswell-Kent Middle School||
|3rd||Steve Frantz||Davontre Cohen||Roswell-Kent Middle School||
|1st||Dan Wyandt||Patrick Short, Tyler Hassall and Anthony Rorigi||Penta Career Center||
|2nd||Dan Wyandt||Grant Adams||Penta Career Center||
|3rd||Dan Wyandt||Dan Ross||Penta Career Center||
|1st||Linda Barrett||Richard Ampomah||University of Akron||
|2nd||Linda Barrett||Christopher Portell||University of Akron||
|3rd||Mandy Munro-Stasiuk||Andrea Blanka Szell, Vanessa Marshall, Aisehia Brooks, Andrew Curtis||Kent State University||
|peaple’s choice||Dan Wyandt||Nathaniel Dobbs||Penta Career Center||