Our surrounding ecosystems are constantly adapting to a range of environmental conditions, such as seasonal variation, extreme weather patterns, and unexpected natural hazards. These changes, however, may not be easily observed or appreciated in real-time accounts by the human eye. How have your daily activities been affected by a changing environment? How have you observed these changes?
As humans and animals share disease risks within their atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic environments, we should survey the planet’s biodiversity through a holistic approach. Using this One Health concept, we can describe the biodiversity through real-time measurements in a two-fold manner. First, Earth science data can provide global measurements of diverse environmental conditions, such as land cover and precipitation levels. Second, citizen science observations by community members are local measurements, like photographs (e.g. photovoice methodology), field notes, and physical measurements. Combining large-scale satellite data with small-scale community observations can serve as a valuable visualization tool for our dynamic ecosystems.
Your challenge is to match NASA Earth science data with potential sources of local citizen science observations to identify how our changing environment may influence human and animal health!
As you brainstorm on the elements of this challenge, consider the following:
- How can you describe the daily, monthly, and annual temporal changes of your local terrain?
- How can we better understand real-time changes (e.g., average vs. extreme measurements)?
- How can we showcase real-time environmental changes to enhance educational programs for community members of all ages?
Examples of Resources
- CDC Wonder (https://wonder.cdc.gov/): Data include heat wave days, daily air temperatures and heat indices, daily sunlight, daily precipitation, daily land surface temperatures, and daily fine particulate matter.
- North America Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) (https://ldas.gsfc.nasa.gov/): Data include daily air temperatures and heat indices, daily sunlight, and daily precipitation.
- Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (https://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/dataprod/mod11.php): Data include land surface temperatures and aerosol optical depth.