SSAI is committed to improving quality of life by helping to communicate scientific advancements that enable the public to enhance their personal, professional, and living environments. Interactions with the public in the form of webinars, public demonstrations, and regular events, such as Goddard’s Sunday Experiment Day and Earth Day fairs, are routine affairs for our Education and Outreach teams at SSAI. Moreover, we facilitate the international public’s active involvement in the scientific process through large scale citizen science programs, which are designed, engineered, and managed by SSAI personnel; as well as through long-term, hands-on academic research programs, by providing financial services, scientific advising, personnel and project management, technical support, programmatic support, and project coordination and analysis.
SSAI – A World Leader in Citizen Science
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, as well as make meaningful contributions to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. SSAI proudly supports NASA’s GLOBE Program website (https://www.globe.gov), mobile applications, social media accounts, and multiple education and outreach initiatives.
Launched worldwide in 1995, GLOBE serves as a hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science and education program. GLOBE’s vision promotes students, teachers, and scientists in 125 countries to collaborate on inquiry-based investigations concerning the environment and the Earth system, while working in close partnership with NASA, NOAA, and NSF Earth System Science Projects (ESSPs) in studies and research about the dynamics of the Earth’s environment. To date, teachers, students, and citizen scientists associated with over 35,000 schools participate in the GLOBE program, by contributing scientific measurements to the GLOBE database, which currently includes over 200 million in-situ measurements.
SSAI’s support for GLOBE infrastructure includes data entry, content production, mobile application (available in 9 different languages) and data visualization tools, and APIs to support the automated input and export of measurements. Recent innovations include the delivery of an Elasticsearch-based API to GLOBE for extremely fast data retrieval, the prototype of a virtual reality-based “Data on a GLOBE” data visualization, and the incorporation of Amazon Rekognition AI system to screen citizen-science-uploaded photographs.
The SSAI team has been recognized with multiple NASA Achievement awards for their efforts, including: Development of the GLOBE Observer App - “for sustained excellence in delivering critical Science Mission Directorate (SMD) mission content to students and citizen scientists”- and Migration of the GLOBE System from Its Legacy Environment to the cloud - “for exceptional achievement in effective utilization of internet and commercial technologies.” Most recently, the SSAI-led team received the Robert H. Goddard Center Award for successfully supporting citizens at home during the COVID-19 pandemic through the NASA@Home initiative.