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Trees Challenge 2020

Trees Challenge 2020: Make Every Tree Count

POSTPONED April 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020

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NASA’s top priority, in this difficult time, is to do everything it can to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. For that reason, the agency is postponing the GLOBE Observer Trees Challenge 2020: Make Every Tree Count activity as part of GLOBE’s 25th anniversary celebration. Please keep checking back on GLOBE social for the latest concerning activities you can do with GLOBE, and also when the Trees Challenge might get reinstated.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the 25th anniversary of the GLOBE Program, GLOBE Observer is hosting a month-long citizen science challenge in April 2020. Volunteers are invited to measure the height of as many different trees as possible throughout the month using the Trees tool in the GLOBE Observer app. The individuals, schools, and registered teams that measure the most trees will be recognized as top observers in the challenge.

We invite our education partners to incorporate the challenge into your Earth Day planning. We are assembling a package of resources to support informal educators and GLOBE schools. The package includes information about trees and NASA science, connections to local tree science relevant to your community, ideas about how to manage a Trees challenge, learning activities, and other resources. On 19 February 2020, we introduced the package in a training webinar for informal educators. View the webinar recording.

You can participate in the challenge as an individual, as a school, or as part of an informal education or community team. See below for details.

If you are looking for more general information about the Trees tool, check the Do GLOBE Observer section about Trees, including the Frequently Asked Questions. We also have additional information in the Facilitator's Guide.

To participate in Trees Challenge 2020


  1. Download the GLOBE Observer app and register to get an account (or use the form on this website).
  2. Open the Trees tool inside the app.
  3. Take the Trees training (Introduction and Tutorial).
  4. Measure as many different trees as possible between April 1 and April 30.


  • It is not necessary to measure each tree every day, as the trees will not grow that fast.
  • Please strive to measure as many trees as you can in your local environment.
  • When possible, measure the circumference of the trees you are observing. *NOTE: You will need a tape measure or non-stretchy string/ribbon and a meter stick for this.



  1. In February or March, become a GLOBE Teacher. See “Teachers/Educators” on the GLOBE Getting Starting page
  2. Once you are registered and trained as a teacher, you will have the ability to create student accounts in addition to your main teacher account. (See a tutorial video about creating student accounts.)
  3. Download the GLOBE Observer app and sign in with either your teacher or the student logins. All observations made in the GLOBE Observer app while logged in on student accounts will count toward the school. Please contact the GLOBE Help Desk if you need a hand getting started.
  4. Alternatively, you and your students can measure tree heights with a simple paper clinometer and enter the data on the GLOBE website. See instructions for the full protocol.
  5. Measure as many trees as possible between April 1 and April 30. The schools with the most measurements will be recognized on the GLOBE website and GLOBE social media accounts.


  • Optional, but encouraged, participate in the Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign webinars to get additional support and ideas.
  • Every GLOBE school has a referral code, which you can distribute to parents or other community members so that their GLOBE Observer observations can be counted toward your school’s total.


Informal Education Partners and Communities:

Informal educators (library, museums, camps, parks, etc.), communities, or other groups may join together to form teams.

  1. Start by creating your own GLOBE Observer account in the app or using the online registration form.
  2. Use your login information to log in to the GLOBE web site.
  3. Create a team. Your team may be open, which means anyone can join, or private. If you create a private team, you will get a referral code which you can give community members to join the team. Creating a team will allow you to see participation based on your outreach.
  4. Make sure you register your team using the form below so that we know you are participating in the challenge. 
  5. The registered teams that measure the most trees between April 1 and April 30 will receive recognition.


  • Resources available to informal educators include hands-on activities, book lists, videos, presentation files, printables, and other promotional materials.
  • We will hold a training webinar on February 19th to discuss tree science and the resources available to support your participation in the challenge. Check back soon for registration information.


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