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NOVA Cloud Lab

NOVA Cloud Lab
Image: Photo by David Eaker, NPS
 

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.
 
Created by NOVA Labs and funded by NASA, the Cloud Lab offers citizen scientists the opportunity to identify different cloud types, from cirrus to cumulus to altostratus. The project also gives citizen scientists direct access to the types of data, imagery, and tools scientists use to investigate Earth's most powerful storms. Citizen scientists can learn how to track the development of storms and better predict their impacts by conducting their own storm investigations.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: Various
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Observation
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    For more information, visit the Nova Labs home page.

See more projects in FreeObservationAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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