AgnesConatyPhD 1

Agnes Pasco Conaty is a college math and environmental science adjunct professor who also works as senior research scientist and science lead for the GLOBE Observer Program at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

This April 22nd —Earth Day — marks the GLOBE program’s 30th birthday. GLOBE, which stands for the Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment, is a NASA-sponsored program with over 150,000 participants, citizen scientists,  in 127 different countries across the globe. All of these citizen scientists help compile data by measuring and recording information about Earth’s four spheres.

GLOBE’s website ( has information about the four spheres and lists more than 50 ways that you can measure data for them. These spheres include the biosphere (plant and animal life), the atmosphere (air at different layers of the Earth), the hydrosphere (water covering  various parts of the Earth), and the pedosphere (Earth’s soil layer). Everyone using GLOBE takes measurements of these spheres and submits the data that they find through GLOBE’s open data collection website.

Anyone who’s interested in collecting data can use the free GLOBE app, which is available at the Apple Play and Google Play stores. The app lets users record data on basic things like clouds, land cover, trees and mosquito habitats. 

You can even use the app to record data of the next solar eclipse, which will take place on April 8. Here in  Maryland, we’ll see a partial solar eclipse (80-90%) starting as early as 3 p.m., providing the weather cooperates that day and we don’t have cloud cover. Most Marylanders (and pretty much the entire northeastern United States) experienced cloudy skies for the solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023. We hope we’ll have better viewing skies this time. You can see a map showing the path of the total solar eclipse in the U. S. at

If you want to use the app to record data for the eclipse, be sure to capture the temperature before, during and after it. And be sure you use designated solar eclipse glasses, too, as eye protection is extremely important for safely viewing a solar eclipse, so. Solar eclipse glasses are typically provided by most Prince George’s County public libraries, including Laurel Library. You can find more information about eclipses at

The GLOBE program is successful thanks to  the curiosity and passion we all have to learn more about the world we live in. With 30 years of GLOBE data collected worldwide and available online, everyone can learn more about our Earth. This year, be part of something big and experience the joy of sharing data through citizen science. 

If you’re interested in learning about GLOBE and all of the citizen-science opportunities related to the program, email me at