Earth to Sky

UPDATE: The application process for the 2014 - 2015 cohort is now open until June 23rd, 2014, download the application here.

View the Earth to Sky Webinar from 5/20/14 (requires Blackboard Collaborate):

We are pleased to announce five new honorarium recipients for our 2013 GPM-Earth to Sky Collaboration! The National Park and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Centers will be developing materials, activities, programs or displays during the summer of 2013 and will be testing these materials throughout the upcoming visitor seasons. They will also be communicating with the GPM team as well as each other to get new ideas and learn more about GPM and NASA education activities. 

The five National Park and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Centers include:

Kenai visitor center sketchSketch for new Visitor’s Center

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Kasilof, Alaska:

The honorarium will be used to install a computer monitored weather station in the new Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (to open Fall 2014) and integrate the station into interpretive ranger talks and environmental education programs offered to Alaskan residents and visitors to this Refuge. This weather station will allow for continued weather data collection that will augment the sporadic citizen science data collection that occurs during Ranger-led climate change education activities.  


Devils Postpile example imageDevils Postpile is a great example of columnar basalt.

Devils Postpile National Monument in Madera, California:

This honorarium will be used to develop a program to measure basic snow properties through science techniques to engage students and under-served youth groups in climate science. It will focus on the connection between snowfall in the Sierra Nevada and water availability in the rest of California and how this affects local and regional climate as well as how climate impacts agriculture and the economy in the rest of the state.


Grea smokey mountains waterfallHen Wallow Falls in Great Smokey Mountains National Park, a favorite place for salamanders.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee:

This honorarium will allow the park to expand its “Adopt-a-Phenology Plot” project, which engages local communities and student groups in a collaborative Public Participation in Scientific Research (PPSR) study on changing species phenology in the national park. The program will engage volunteers and school groups to connect what they observe in the changing habitats in the park to changing rainfall patterns and climate change in their area.


Mountains in the shenendoah Fall Colors from Big Run Overlook in Shenandoah National Park.

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia:

The honorarium will be used to support a research-based environmental education program for middle and high school students that focuses on how climate change factors may impact the survival of the Shenandoah salamander. Students will conduct field research on the more common red-backed salamander using the transect-based sampling technique that is being used by researchers.  The students will collect temperature and humidity readings in salamander habitat to compare the habitat requirements of the salamanders and predict how climate change factors might impact their survival.


Great Egret in the EvergladesGreat Egret in the Everglades National Park.

Everglades National Park in southern Florida:

The project will develop a three-panel movable display for the new Shark Valley Visitor Center, slated to open in November 2013. Each panel highlights local and global impacts of GPM’s water-cycle theme. The fundamental goal of the project is for visitors to gain an understanding of how powerful yet delicate a watershed is—leading them to protect and become stewards of the Everglades and watersheds worldwide.


Earth to Sky ( is a partnership between NASA, the National Park Service (NPS), and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) that brings NASA science, teaching and learning into the America’s protected areas. Earth to Sky has produced a series of professional development courses for informal educators, most recently focusing on NASA's contributions to climate change science. These courses bring informal educators and other members of the Earth to Sky community together to develop action plans for incorporating NASA science into interpretive and educational programs and products for the public, educators, and students.

Earth to Sky Logo

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission is launching a collaborative program that provides an honorarium for selected Parks and Fish & Wildlife Centers affiliated with the Earth to Sky community to develop and implement an interpretive/educational project related to GPM’s key science themes: Water Cycle, Weather and Climate, Technology and Instrumentation, and Societal Applications. For more information on GPM’s key science themes, please visit The selected centers will develop materials, activities, and displays that have the potential to be transferred to other venues and will make a “Local to Global” connection for their chosen subject area at their site and observation of precipitation from space.