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The NOVA Cloud Lab

Covering some 70 percent of Earth's surface, clouds play a key role in our planet's well-being. But how do they form, why are there so many types, and what clues can they give us about the weather and climate to come? Try your hand at classifying clouds and investigating the role they play in severe tropical storms. Featuring NOVA-produced videos and real feeds from NASA Earth Science satellites, this Lab challenges you to classify clouds and investigate the role they play in severe tropical storms.

This project is part of the larger NOVA Labs platform.




IceWatch USA

As an IceWatch USA™ volunteer, you observe a water body in your area over the winter, and report on weather (snow, precipitation, ice cover, as well as wildlife activity. In as little as ten minutes, your observations help scientists analyze climate change and other environmental factors as well as how people can adapt to those changes. The IceWatching season begins every year on the day of fall and ends with your last ice coverage and/or last snowfall.




Study Adélie Penguin breeding

From November to January, classrooms take part in a virtual field study of Adélie Penguins as they breed, brood and rear their chicks in Antarctica. Photos of selected penguin families from Cape Royds Antarctica are posted to the website for students to follow on a daily basis. Weather data, event journal and background information about penguins is also provided. Students keep a field notebook gathering and analyzing their own data about each penguin family using the same process of the field biologist. This real time, long term activity provides students a window into the harshness of Adélie penguin life and the work of field scientists. Predation, competition and environmental challenges all affect the penguin’s ability to raise chicks. Witnessing these events themselves helps students begin to understand the world around them and the remote location of Antarctica. This project offers a real time daily field experience with outcomes we cannot predict.




RinkWatch

In 2012, scientists in Montreal warned Canadians to expect there will be fewer outdoor skating days in the future.* Their predictions are based on the results of data taken from weather stations across Canada over the last fifty years. In some parts of Canada, they warn there may one day be no more backyard rinks at all. Remember the story of how Wayne Gretzky learned to play hockey on the backyard rink his father made for him in Brantford, Ontario? The scientists’ report says some day that will no longer be possible – at least, not in Brantford.

This prompted a group of geographers at Wilfrid Laurier University to create RinkWatch. We want people from coast to coast to coast to tell us about their rinks. We want you to pin the location of your rink on our map, and then each winter record every day that you are able to skate on it. Think of it as your rink diary. We will gather up all the information from all the backyard rinks, and use it to track the changes in our climate. The RinkWatch website will give you regular updates on the results. You will be able to compare the number of skating days at your rink with rinks elsewhere, and find out who is having the best winter for skating this year.




Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey

Harsh winter conditions significantly affect young turkeys. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation seeks wildlife lovers in every county to help them observe and count young male and female turkeys (also known as Jakes and Jennies), from January through March.




Precipitation ID Near the Ground (PING)

The National Severe Storms Laboratory needs YOUR help with a research project!

If you live in the area shown on the map, the Precipitation Identification Near the Ground project (PING) wants YOU to watch and report on precipitation type.

PING is looking for young, old, and in-between volunteers to make observations—teachers, classes and families too! We have collected tens of thousands of observations since 2006, already making PING successful because of your help.

PING volunteers can spend a little or a lot of time making observations. The basic idea is simple: the National Severe Storms Laboratory will collect radar data from NEXRAD radars in your area during storm events, and compare that data with YOUR observations.

Why? Because the radars cannot see close to the ground, we need YOU to tell us what is happening. Scientists will compare your report with what the radar has detected, and develop new radar technologies and techniques to determine what kind of precipitation—such as snow, soft hail, hard hail, or rain—is falling where.





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