GPM Societal Applications

Created by Dorian Janney Last updated 3/2/2016

This is a list of resource materials to help share the many ways in which the data from the GPM mission is used to help people around the world.

  • GPM: Hurricanes Beyond the Tropics

    When New England was hit by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, there was not a satellite monitoring tropical storms that far north; the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) was operating in a band between the 35-degree latitudes. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission will change that. GPM will build upon TRMM's capacity by examining a larger swath of Earth with instruments that are more advanced and more sensitive. This video introduces the GPM satellite, its instruments and their capabilities - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M7
  • Faces of GPM: Engineers

    This short video includes interviews with several key engineers who built and tested the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Interviewees include: Beth Weinstein, GPM integration and test engineer; Lisa Bartusek, GPM deputy mission systems engineer; and Carlton Peters, associate branch head at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and GPM thermal branch development lead. - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 1C/E3, 1C/M4
  • GPM: The Fresh (water) Connection

    In this brief video, NASA scientists discuss the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission and its role in studying and tracking Earth's freshwater resources. The GPM mission will advance our understanding of Earth's water and energy cycles, improve the forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters, and extend current capabilities of using satellite precipitation information to directly benefit society - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M7, 4B/M8
  • Faces of GPM: Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum

    Research physical scientist, Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum, is featured in this short (~3 min.) video. Dr. Kirschbaum explains how the integration of her initial interest in math and her subsequent interest in the science of natural disasters lead to her career focus of landslide modeling. Now part of the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) team, she communicates about the GPM mission and data to the public and to others who use it in their work and/or research. - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 1B/M1a, 1C/E2, 1C/E3, 1C/M3
  • GPM: What We Don't Know About Snow

    This video provides a glimpse into the snowfall research planned as part of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. GPM Deputy Project Scientist, Gail Skofronick-Jackson, reveals the capabilities of the satellite's new sensors, which, through increased sensitivity, will help to overcome the challenges associated with measuring snowfall from space. - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 1C/M3, 4B/M7
  • GPM: Too Little, Too Much

    This short video (4:44) helps audiences understand and appreciate the importance of measuring precipitation globally. The role of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission to better understand, model and predict where and when too much rainfall will occur (resulting in floods and landslides) and where too little rain will fall (resulting in droughts) is examined - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2, 4B/M7
  • Hurricanes

    The emphasis of this lesson is deepening students' understanding of how and why we measure precipitation across the globe. Students will look at NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data gathered during hurricanes and how this data can prove essential in helping scientists forecast the amount of precipitation. Students will also learn how the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission is enabling scientists to collect new information on hurricanes. The lesson uses the 5E instructional sequence - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: MS-ESS3-2
  • SOS Water Falls Post-Visit

    Students will explore NASA satellite data gathered during Hurricane Sandy to learn how that data was essential in helping scientists forecast its path and precipitation amounts. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet, Assessment and PowerPoint Presentation. (View Less) - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2, 4B/M7
  • Hurricanes and Hot Towers with TRMM

    n this lesson, students will think about their experiences with hurricanes and severe storms, and then learn the basics of what causes hurricanes to form. Students will learn how hurricane prediction has progressed, and how satellite technology is used to see inside storms to get improved data for enhancing computer-based mathematical models. To share what they’ve learned, students will create a news report (script or comic strip) to tell others about hurricanes and hurricane prediction. - See more at:
  • Erosion and Landslides

    Students will be introduced to the causes, locations, and hazards of landslides, as well as the role of satellite observations in predicting and studying them. To begin, students investigate the amount of precipitation sufficient to cause a landslide in two different mediums (soil and sand), then use their findings in follow-up activities. After the lab, students will think about how rain information can be collected, especially via satellites, to model where landslides will occur. Finally, students will look at areas currently at risk of landslides and research landslide hazards and how to prepare for a landslide event, and create a public service announcement sharing that information. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet and Lab Instructions and PowerPoint Presentation. - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2, 11C/M7
  • Building for Hurricanes: Engineering Design Challenge

    This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs - See more at:
  • Water Conservation

    This activity was developed to get students thinking about the many ways that people use freshwater and how we can conserve this precious and fundamental natural resource. Students will watch a short documentary describing issues related to clean water availability, analyze water-use data and start to think about how they consume and can conserve water. This background knowledge will lead to students collecting data about their own water use and finding areas in their lives to conserve water. This activity uses the 5E instructional model and is part of the "Survivor Earth" series of one-hour lessons - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: , , 11A/M2, 4B/M7
  • Geographical Influences on Climate

    In this lesson students use climatograms from different U.S. locations to observe patterns in temperature and precipitation. After describing geographical features near these locations, they will use graphs to compare and find patterns in the effects that mountains, oceans, elevation, and latitude have on temperature and precipitation. A research activity will then ask students to gather information on temperature and precipitation patterns around the world using the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server and other sources, with the goal of creating their own climatogram. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. (View Less) - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M9, 4B/M14
  • Climate Change Inquiry Lab

    In this lesson, students will conduct labs to investigate three drivers of climate change: adding atmospheric greenhouse gases, melting glacial ice, and decreasing sea ice. Students, working in groups, will conduct experiments, connect them to real-world data, and make posters to present their findings to the class. A teacher's guide, student worksheets, lab instructions, and a Powerpoint presentation (which incorporates related NASA videos) are included. This lesson uses the 5E instructional sequence. - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M15, 4E/M6
  • Climate Change Online Lab

    Students will use NASA's Global Climate Change website to research five of the key indicators (vital signs) of Earth’s climate health. These indicators are: global surface temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level, Arctic sea ice, and land ice. They will use this information, shared in their expert groups, to create an informative poster about their assigned key indicator. The poster will be used by other groups to learn about all five of the key indicators and how Earth scientists use these indicators to analyze changes in Earth’s climate. The lesson plan uses the 5E instructional sequence - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: MS-ESS3-5,
  • Climate Kids: Gallery of Fresh Water

    This series of 12 captioned images depict some of the issues facing Earth’s fresh water supply, such as pollution, drought, and glacial retreat. The Climate Kids website is a NASA education resource featuring articles, videos, images and games focused on the science of climate change - See more at:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M8