Welcome to Data-enhanced Investigations for Climate Change Education (DICCE)

The NASA-funded project Data-enhanced Investigations for Climate Change Education (DICCE) is making it much easier and more technologically feasible for middle and high school teachers and students to study climate change and related Earth system phenomena using data products from the Goddard Interactive Online Visualization and Analysis Infrastructure (GIOVANNI). This three-year research and development project began in November 2010 and will end on October 31, 2013. Yet, the resources the project produces will remain available to the public afterwards.

GIOVANNI is a powerful portal of Earth observation data that provides access to numerous data products on Earth system phenomena covering land biosphere, physical land, ocean biosphere, physical ocean, physical atmosphere, atmospheric gases, and energy and radiation system. These daily and monthly data products are derived from remote-sensing instruments on satellites, ground stations, and data assimilation models. DICCE is creating high school teacher and student access to some of these data to enable student investigations of about their local climates. Teachers and students can query the Giovanni data archive, then save the results as map images, time series plots, vertical profiles and data tables. The map images can also be imported to appear as layers in Google Earth and other geographic information systems. DICCE-GIOVANNI (DICCE-G) is the name of this high school user-friendly access to the data. The project has also produced DICCE-Learning Environment (DICCE-LE), a tool for teachers to author and adapt student data investigation activities and presentations around visualizations they make available to their students via DICCE-G. The project strongly encourages teachers to focus on their local region and compare the local region either to other regions or to global data. Supports are provided to students and teachers about how to interpret trends in data products of their choice at the regional level and a schema has been developed to help them understand how those data products fit into current scientific thinking about the certainties and uncertainties of global warming. DICCE-LE will soon support teacher selection of student assessment items per data product and an item bank is in the process of being created.

Evidence from the first rounds of classroom implementation strongly supports the appeal of DICCE to diverse high school students. For example, in June 2012, a population of 42 diverse students at a science summer camp administered by a public university in California participated in 45-minute long hands-on DICCE activities. The students used maps and time series plots to compare average temperatures, total precipitation amounts, and levels of carbon dioxide in Greenland and the greater San Diego area. A team of teachers from the district's high schools developed these activities by adapting a DICCE LE presentation that a high school student in a public high school is a different California city developed and posted on DICCE LE just two months earlier. On an anonymous feedback survey, 93% of the Oxnard students said that they learned something new about science from the DICCE activities, 60% said the activities were fun, and 63% said the activities made them more interested in science.

Please note that much of DICCE has been completed, yet the project is still in development. Hence, various DICCE resources may be updated from time to time through October 2014. If you notice anything that needs to be updated or have any other suggestions, please contact the Principal Investigator, Dan Zalles, at daniel.zalles@sri.com.