Measure a tree or take a photograph of clouds for NASA

Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

You can contribute important scientific data to NASA and help scientists studying Earth and the global environment. While NASA can use tools such as satellites, citizen scientists like you can add data that they don’t have.

Use the GLOBE Observer App. It currently includes four main tools: Clouds, Trees, Mosquito Habitat Mapper and Land Cover.


By photographing clouds, recording sky observations and comparing them with NASA satellite data, you can help scientists gain a new perspective on clouds that satellites just can’t provide: from the ground looking up! This new perspective will help refine satellite-derived models and enhance scientific understanding of Earth’s atmosphere.


The Trees observation allows citizen scientists to measure tree height (and optionally tree circumference) to track the growth of trees over time. Tree height is the most widely used indicator of a environment’s ability to grow trees. Observing tree height allows NASA scientists to understand the gain or loss of biomass, which can inform calculations of the carbon that trees and forests either take in from or release into the atmosphere.

Mosquito Habitat Mapper

By identifying potential breeding sites for mosquitoes, sampling and counting mosquito larvae, and by using optional equipment to examine, photograph and identify the genus of your specimens, you will be enabling scientists to verify predictive models of mosquito population dynamics. In addition, public health authorities can use your observations to inform where, when and how to intervene in their communities to reduce disease risk.

Land Cover

By photographing and classifying the land cover over an area the size of a soccer field, you will be assisting those scientists working to enhance global maps of land cover use.  Your observations will contribute to new maps with a finer spatial resolution than is possible using satellites alone. Land cover is critical to many different Earth processes, and is of interest to a wide variety of scientists and decision makers.

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