Abstract's details

SWOT in the GLOBE Program: Hydrology science in the classroom

Margaret Srinivasan (Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States)


Danielle DeStaerke (CNES, France); Dixon Butler (GLOBE Program, United States); Tamlin Pavelsky (University of North Carolina, United States)

Event: 2014 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Outreach, Education and Altimetric Data Services

Presentation type: Type Poster

Contribution: PDF file


A cornerstone element of NASA's Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission Education Program will be participation in the multinational, multiagency program, Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) (http://www.globe.gov). The GLOBE Program is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science and education community that consists of more than 100 participating countries, over 58,000 GLOBE-trained teachers representing in excess of 24,000 schools around the world, and over 1.5 million students who have contributed more than 23 million measurements to the GLOBE database for use in inquiry-based science projects. GLOBE brings together students, teachers and scientists through the GLOBE Schools Network in support of student learning and research, as well as support of science goals of NASA's Earth Science program. The objectives of the program are to promote the teaching and learning of science; enhance environmental awareness, literacy and stewardship; and contribute to scientific research and monitoring of the environment.

The SWOT mission will measure sea surface height and the heights, slopes, and inundated areas of rivers, lakes, and wetlands. This new SWOT-GLOBE partnership will focus on the limnology aspects of the SWOT mission. These lake and river measurements will be useful in monitoring the hydrologic cycle, flooding, and climate impacts of a changing environment.

GLOBE derives much of its success from its worldwide cadre of teachers who are trained in GLOBE's five core areas of Earth system science, including hydrology. The SWOT Education teams at NASA and CNES are working with the GLOBE Program implementers to develop and promote a new protocol under the Hydrology topic area for students to measure attributes of surface water bodies that will support mission science objectives. This protocol will outline and describe a methodology to measure width and height of rivers and lakes.

This new GLOBE protocol will be included in training to provide teachers with expertise and confidence in engaging their students in this new scientific investigation. Performing this additional measurement will enhance GLOBE students experience in scientific investigation, and will provide useful measurements to SWOT researchers that can support the SWOT mission research goals.

SWOT engagement with the public, and students in particular, will involve communicating the value of its measurements of river and lake height, lake water storage, and river discharge. This is also important to the GLOBE Program as curriculum integration of its hydrology measurements can be enhanced by strengthened ties to the concepts of watersheds and the hydrologic cycle. Understanding can be increased of the relation of lake and river levels to drought and water supply as well.
Margaret Srinivasan
Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory
United States