U.S. Department of State Strengthens GLOBE Implementation Around the World

Internationally, GLOBE is a partnership between the United States and over 100 countries that manage and support their own unique national program infrastructure and activities. NASA funds GLOBE Program Office (GPO) operations through a cooperative agreement with UCAR. NSF supports the science component of GLOBE through competitive grants to large Earth System Science Projects (ESSPs). The U.S. Department of State provides significant in-kind services in the negotiation of the Bilateral Agreements involving Ministers of Education, Ministers of Science and Technology, U.S. Ambassadors and other officials at the highest levels of government.

GLOBE Country Coordinators often find support for their national implementation from U.S. agencies within their country or region. One such agency that provides generous support to the international GLOBE community is the U.S. Department of State, located within U.S. Embassies in nearly every country. U.S. Embassies have Science and Technology Desk Officers who promote educational programs, such as the GLOBE Program. These State Department representatives form a strong support network able to assist GLOBE Country Coordinators in their strategic work linking GLOBE to their countries' educational priorities and initiatives.

Since GLOBE began operations on Earth Day 1995, more than a million students in over 20,000 schools in 109 countries have benefited from participation in the world's preeminent hands-on, science education program. This worldwide community of students, teachers, scientists and citizens are working across national and cultural boundaries to increase scientific understanding of our changing world. The collaboration between GLOBE and the U.S. Department of State fosters a sense of shared responsibility for a healthy planet and a sustainable future between Americans and people of many countries, cultures, and faiths.

Ms. Lori Dando, former Director of the Nordic/Baltic Office of Environment, Science, Technology and Health at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, developed a list of ways in which GLOBE Country Coordinators can collaborate with the U.S. Department of State in their countries. Suggestions include contacting the U.S. Embassies to:

  • Familiarize Embassy representatives with GLOBE schools, activities and achievements in the region.

  • Collaborate with Embassy Representatives (generally the Science and Technology Desk Officers) on regional GLOBE activities. Find support for teachers, and/or students to participate.

  • Invite the Ambassador to visit GLOBE schools during special events.

  • Schedule a courtesy call for the U.S. Ambassador with the Minister of Education, Science or Environment or all of the above. Work with the U.S. Embassy representative to write talking points to include local GLOBE achievements, the benefits of cross cultural exchange and local and regional science and environment activities.

  • Propose a joint GLOBE schools / Embassy project on Earth Day (April 22) and World Environment Day (June 5).

  • Involve USAID officers in GLOBE/U.S. Embassy events.

  • Develop an international project. An excellent example of outreach is the ASA-GLOBE transcontinental student exchange project between students in Estonia, Germany and Cameroon, designed and implemented by the Regional Environmental Office at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen and ASA Germany.

  • Work with the U.S. Embassy and Ministry representatives to organize a GLOBE Recommitment Ceremony, perhaps upon an anniversary of the original signing. An excellent example of this is the event that was designed surrounding the GLOBE Recommitment Signing in Budapest, Hungary, on May 3, 2004.

  • Highlight the achievements of your schools. Work with the U.S. Embassy representative to organize a fund raiser for a less-advantaged school to purchase a computer or other equipment. The American Women (or Spouses') Club may want to help.

  • Inquire about the possibility of involving U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) to assist with GLOBE events and activities. Perhaps GLOBE can meet some of the PCVs needs (English as a Foreign Language, Environment, etc).

The services, expertise and dedication of a vast network of State Department professionals contribute greatly to the successful implementation of GLOBE. In classrooms and communities throughout the world, GLOBE is raising the next generation of Earth system scientists whose future impact on growing environmental concerns cannot be underestimated. Solutions to the compelling issues of the next generation of global scientists will require collaborative investigations, strategies and solutions founded in a broad understanding of issues-without-borders and an abiding respect for our global environment. GLOBE joins the U.S. Department of State in promoting international cooperation as a means of galvanizing efforts to address vital issues.

GLOBE Web site articles that highlight support of the GLOBE Program by the U.S. Department of State can be found on the following regional pages: Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe/Eurasia, Latin America/Caribbean, Near East, North America.

12 September 2007


Please log-in to post comments