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Visiting the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail this summer? Do NASA science on your phone

By: Peder Nelson - Oregon State University, Helen Amos & Eric Brown De Colstoun - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
30 July 2019

Are you traveling along a section of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail this summer? Help scientists and the National Park Service map the landscape along this route using the NASA GLOBE Observer mobile app. It’s free, built for your smartphone, and available to anyone.

GO on a Trail kicked off June 1st. In the spirit of the Lewis and Clark scientific expedition (1804-1806), the mission of the GO on a Trail is to engage modern-day travelers and communities to make scientific land cover observations from the ground while satellites take observations from space. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark recorded detailed observations of the geography and what was on the land, such as forests, prairies, and rivers – what scientists today call land cover. Land cover, and its change over time, plays a big role in the water cycle and the Earth’s energy balance. Making these observations today will contribute to this ongoing scientific observation record.

observation station logo

GO on a Trail data are steadily rolling in. We’re excited about every observation, but want to give special thanks to those contributing data across Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Oregon who have sent in lots of data. Keep it coming! We also want to give a special thanks to the citizen scientists who have made their observations at a GO on a Trail Observation Station. Observation Stations are special places along the Lewis & Clark Trail marked with large stickers, like what’s shown in the photo below. Observers get extra points for going to an Observation Station. Scientists are hoping to get lots of data at the Observation Stations so they can compare differences in how a group of people report the land cover at a single location.

There’s still time to get involved! GO on a Trail goes until September 2, 2019. Step 1: Download the free GLOBE Observer app to your smartphone.
Step 2: Send us your land cover observations while you’re visiting the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. We’d particularly love to see more data in the Great Plains and at the GO on a Trail Observation Stations. Find the Observation Station nearest you.