Photo: NASA Many scientists rely on "small data" from volunteers to understand local and global weather patterns and climate change. Collectively, the data are used to calibrate weather instruments on NASA satellites, or by the National Weather Service to refine forecasts or flood warnings. Below, we highlight five projects turning small data into big impacts. You can find more projects on SciStarter to do now or bookmark your favorites for later. Learn more about small-to-big data in citizen science.
The SciStarter Team
Install a rain gauge and start measuring precipitation with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network. The data are publicly available and used by weather forecasters, scientists, farmers, and more.
Get started! United States, Canada, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Photo: Osvaldo Sala
International Drought Experiment
This ambitious global experiment is attempting to measure drought effects in different ecosystems. You'll need to build or purchase "drought shelters" making this an ideal, long-term project for schools and community groups.
Get started! Global
MIT Climate CoLab
Climate CoLab uses collective intelligence and creativity to find ways to counteract climate change. When you join the project, you collaborate with people from across the world to develop proposals to combat climate change.
A huge array of online photographs awaits you. By sorting and classifying the images, you will help researchers study issues including global climate change.
Get started! Online
NASA Globe Observer: Clouds
Satellite images convey important information about the earth, but on-the-ground data are also needed to "ground-truth" satellite data. You can help by taking photos of clouds and sky conditions, identifying the types of clouds you see, and sharing the information with NASA.
Get started! Global
Excited about urban nature? The City Nature Challenge will be happening in cities across the United States this Spring. Find one near you in the SciStarter Event Finder! Want more citizen science? Check out SciStarter's Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there's something for everyone!