GLOBE Protocol are standardized approaches for collecting and documenting data to ensure uniformity for data collected in different parts of the world. The protocols are organized into FOUR broad areas of study referred to as “Spheres”. Currently, there are four Spheres of GLOBE scientific research. Each Sphere has numerous GLOBE investigations protocols. These spheres include:
- Atmosphere - Atmospheric measurements collected by students are important for studying weather, climate, land cover, phenology, ecology, biology, hydrology, and soil. Students conduct daily measurements of cloud and contrail cover and type, air temperature, precipitation, precipitation pH, barometric pressure, relative humidity, surface ozone, and aerosol optical thickness. For more information, click on this link
- Hydrosphere - Hydrosphere protocols enable us to take accurate measurements of the often changing quality of water bodies around us. Students conduct weekly measurements of water transparency, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, either conductivity or salinity, alkalinity, nitrate-nitrogen as well as freshwater micro-invertebrates in water bodies near or around their schools. For more information, click on this link
- Pedosphere (Soil) — Data collection of soil temperature, moisture and chemical properties is invaluable to scientists in many fields. Students expose a soil profile, take soil samples, and analyze them to determine the characteristics of various soil layers. They also do daily to monthly measurements of soil moisture at various depths and locations, and take daily to weekly measurements of near-surface soil temperature. For more information, click on this link
- Biosphere - Biosphere Protocols offer ways to quantify seasonal change, land cover, land use, and the amounts of living and dead biomass on the land surface. Students collect data on green up/green down, land cover, fire fuel, phenology, biometry and bird migration. For more information, click on this link
In addition to these direct investigations, there are two supportive investigations included in GLOBE:
- Earth as a System - Exploring Earth as a System help students understand the connections between different aspects of the natural world on a variety of scales, ranging from their own school yard to the entire earth. Earth as a System looks at buddling related protocols together despite them being in different Spheres.
- GPS — Global Positioning System (GPS) is the technology that enables students to determine the latitude, longitude, and elevation, of various sites using a small hand-held receiver and a set of Earth-orbiting satellites. This information is essential so that scientists and others will always know where measurements were taken.