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In this lesson, Observing Earth’s Seasonal Changes, students observe patterns of average snow and ice amounts as they change from one month to another, as well as connect the concepts of the tilt and orbit of the Earth (causing the changing of seasons) with monthly snow/ice data from January 2008



Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices including tools, engines, and machines. These are essential systems in platforms in NASA's Earth Science missions, like satellite and airborne missions.  Mechanical engineers work mostly in engineering services, research and development, and manufacturing. 


Data scientists work with data captured by scientific instruments or generated by a simulator, as well as data that is processed by software and stored in computer systems. They work with scientists to analyze databases and files using data management techniques and statistics. From changes in sea level,  atmospheric composition, or land use, data scientists help make sense of the petabytes of data that NASA collects and stores.


Dr. Norman Loeb, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, is the principal investigator for an experiment called the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES). CERES instruments measure how much of the sun’s energy is reflected back to space and how much thermal energy is emitted by Earth to space.


Students analyze map visualizations representing the amount of Sun’s energy received on the Earth as indicated by the amount that is reflected back to space, known as “albedo”.