Led by Dr. Nancee Hunter and Dr. Martin Storksdieck, OSU’s Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning will conduct a needs assessment that will inform the expansion of the NASA GLOBE program to citizen scientists outside the K-12 arena. More specifically, we will identify needs of key audiences and assess how well an envisioned program expansion will likely meet those needs. The purpose of the project is project development, not research. Over the course of a year, OSU will assess the needs of citizen science audiences and practitioners to inform the expansion of the GLOBE Program to non-student audiences. The GLOBE Observer Program (serving the non-student citizen science audience) has identified the following general outcomes:

  • Data density increases both spatially and temporally
  • Scientists can access data and assess data quality; citizen observations are useful to scientists
  • Students and citizen scientists can access data for research
  • Participants feel they are part of a community or a bigger purpose
  • Participants show gains in science literacy, including an increased perception of themselves as scientists

OSU will develop instruments that will assess how to achieve and refine these outcomes with specific user communities, including:

  • Scientists external to the GLOBE Program
  • 4-H educators and program providers
  • Out of school educators in museums and nature centers
  • Informal educators in libraries and community centers
  • Adult volunteers, including GLOBE Alumni and the GLOBE Observer Leadership Network.

OSU will conduct initial needs assessments with select audience groups via surveys and interviews, and assist with the delivery of evaluation instruments as needed. This work encourages the public to make environmental observations that complement NASA satellite observations. At the same time, the project provides scientists with additional data that would be too expensive or time-consuming to acquire by other means. Read more here.