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SMAP - Soil Moisture Active Passive - Mapping soil moisture and freeze/thaw state from Space
Education & Public Outreach Overview
SMAP team members interacting with the public

Recognizing the societal benefits and potential science impacts of SMAP mission data to diverse science and applications communities, the SMAP project is passionate about communicating the relevance and information to a broader audience by supporting education and public outreach or EPO. The project is committed to supporting EPO efforts throughout the life cycle of the mission to engage the public, whether it is by doing public talks, developing new products, to working with our EPO partners in the dissemination of SMAP and NASA content.

The overarching goal of SMAP EPO is to engage the public and help them appreciate and understand the benefits and values of an Earth satellite mission such as SMAP.

Hands-on Educational Activities

The Breathing Boreal Forest

Freeze/Thaw -The Breathing Boreal Forest: (PDF, 8.32 MB)

In this activity students play the role of coniferous trees. First they learn about seasonal freeze/thaw cycles and dormancy through a game of tag. Students then juggle complex environmental factors to try to survive a growing season in a changing climate. Connections between freeze/thaw cycles, photosynthesis and the global carbon cycle are explored.

Grade Level: Middle School

The following NASA eClips videos show just how important soil moisture is to understanding our planet and just how timely the SMAP mission will be.

  • Our World (elementary school level):

    Learn about soil and how different kinds of soil hold moisture. See how NASA plans to use measurements from the SMAP mission to make our world a better place to live.

  • Real World (middle school level):

    What is the connection between water, soil, and carbon cycles? The answer may be in the soil beneath your feet. See how NASA plans to measure soil moisture from space with the SMAP mission. Learn to calculate soil moisture in your own backyard and discover the real world applications for this data.

  • Launchpad (high school level):

    Learn how SMAP will use new technologies to help answer questions raised in the National Research Councils' Decadal Survey. See what kind of modeling and forecasting applications the data from this mission will provide as it measures the soil moisture that cools Earth's surface and provides water to the atmosphere and plants.

SMAP EPO will focus on the following efforts:

- Telling broader, more encompassing and relevant stories, such as “climate change and the impact on human lives,” and water availability around the world;

- Highlighting the societal benefits of the SMAP mission and the applications for its data;

- Collaborating with selected education partners to broadly disseminate science and technology content from the mission;

- Creating and introducing new avenues to share the SMAP data and how it can be used for a wider audience.

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