GLOBE Connections

Changes in Land Surface/Land use Change: GLOBE Learning Activities

Land Cover Sample Site

Check out these learning activities to help prepare students for collecting data and support the integration of MND with GLOBE in your curriculum.

Odyssey of the Eyes: Beginning 

Overview: Familiarize students with the importance of perspective and introduce students to various scales of remotely sensed data.Odyssey of the Eyes Beginning Level

Student Outcomes: 

  • Symbols are alternative ways of representing data
  • Draw pictures that correctly portray at least some of the features of the thing being described
  • How to describe the student’s own region from different perspectives
  • How to display spatial information on maps and other geographic representations
  • The spatial concepts of location, distance, direction, and scale
  • Physical characteristics of places
  • How to make and use maps and to analyze spatial distributions and patterns

Odyssey of the Eyes: Intermediate

Overview: Familiarize students with the concept of modeling as it is related to remote sensing and to the process of digitizing images.Odyssey of the Eyes Intermediate Level

Student Outcomes: 

  • Scientists rely on technology to enhance the gathering and manipulation of data
  • Tables, graphs and symbols are alternative ways of representing data
  • Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects and events
  • Maps and satellite-produced images
  • Characteristics, functions, and applications of maps, globes, satellite images

Odyssey of the Eyes: Advanced

Overview: Help students understand the connection between remote sensing technology, computer imagery and land cover assessment and to demonstrate how a satellite sensor relates information to a computer

Student Outcomes: Odyssey of the Eyes Advanced Level

  • Clear communication is an essential part of doing science 
  • Communications involves coding and decoding
  • Tables, graphs and symbols are alternative ways of representing data 
  • Maps and satellite-produced images
  • Observe, interpret and classify an image using the data given
  • Analyze how the image interpretation might differ between groups


Land Cover Change Detection

Overview: Using Multispec software, evaluate and investigate changes that have occurred in the major land cover types of your GLOBE Study Site by examining the digital files of two Landsat satellite images that were acquired a few years apart.Land Cover Change Detection

Student Outcomes: 

  • Earth has many different environments that support different combinations of organisms
  • All organisms must be able to obtain and use resources while living in a constantly changing environment
  • All populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact constitute an ecosystem
  • Humans can change ecosystem balance
  • How to use maps (real and imaginary)
  • The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems
  • Use land cover data and appropriate tools and technology to interpret change
  • Gathering spatial data and historical data to determine validity of change hypotheses

Manual Land Cover Mapping

Overview: Produce a land cover type map of the 15 km x 15 km GLOBE Study Site from hard copies of Landsat satellite imagesManual Land Cover Mapping

Student Outcomes: 

  • The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems
  • Show how humans modify the environment
  • Classify land cover and create a land cover type map
  • Evaluate the accuracy of land cover maps
  • Use appropriate mathematics to analyze data
  • Develop descriptions and prediction

Why do We Study Soil

Overview: Introduce students to the importance of soil and why it needs to be studied.Why do We Study Soil

Student Outcomes: 

  • Understand the importance of soil science
  • Be able to provide reasons for studying soil
  • Understand how soil properties are determined by the five soil forming factors
  • Appreciate the relative amounts of usable soil that exist on Earth
  • Soils have properties of color, texture, structure, consistence, density, pH, fertility; they support the growth of many types of plants
  • The surface of Earth changes

Soil Makers

Overview: Students will understand the geologic phenomena of weathering and erosion. These processes, along with deposition, shape our landforms and contribute to the development of parent material in the soil formation process. Soil Makers

Student Outcomes:

  • Understand the causes and variables that contribute to weathering, erosion, and sediment and mineral deposition
  • Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation
  • Use models to describe a scientific principle or illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system (More specifically, model shapes and kinds of landforms in an area, interactions between land, air, water, and organisms, and the cycling of Earth’s materials)
  • Explain cause and effect mechanisms with models in the classroom and then draw similar conclusions to naturally occurring events in the environment (
  • Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes

A Field View of Soil - Digging Around 

Overview: Students investigate variations in the soils around their school to discover that soil properties like moisture, temperature, color, and texture exhibit considerable variability across a single landscape. They also identify factors such as slope, shade, plants, and compaction, which affect the appearance of soils and their ability to hold moisture.A Field View of Soil - Digging Around

Student Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to characterize soils
  • Students will be able to relate the five soil forming factors to soil properties
  • Earth materials are solid rocks, soil, water, biota, and the gases of the atmosphere
  • Soils have properties of color, texture, structure, consistence, density, pH, fertility; they support the growth of many types of plants
  • The surface of Earth changes
  • Soils are often found in layers, with each having a different chemical composition and texture
  • Soils consist of minerals (less than 2 mm), organic material, air and water

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