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As I did not summit, I asked a GLOBE teacher and volcanologist (and no, she does not have ears like Dr. Spock from Star Trek!) Jayme Margolin-Sneider who did, to share her experience and that of the group that did summit.  As some background, Jayme completed her undergraduate degree at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA and Auckland University, New Zealand.  She then completed some research as a Fulbright Scholar at Hokkaido University, Japan (Seismic Volcanology Research).  Her graduate work was completed at New Mexico Tech, with a...


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Our final day was an easy hike down from the Mweka camp to a village at 1400 m.  We had a final glance of the mountain at one point as we descended.  It looked beautiful with its fresh covering of snow. Kilimanjaro, with a fresh coat of snow, as seen from our final descent.   We were definitely in the rain forest biome again and the lush forest surrounded us as on our first day. We also saw the elephant trunk flower, ( Impatiens kilimanjarii ), a semi-official logo of the mountain.    Elephant trunk flower found along the side of the trail ...


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For group 1, the science group, the descent was more gradual.  But for group 2, the big descent would be today. They would summit and descend most of the mountain on this day.   While waiting to leave Millenium camp, we collected data using GLOBE protocols.  Following this we had a rousing chorus of African songs, and we were all invited to join in. The group was in great spirits as we began our relatively short and all downhill hike.  We also passed a few other hikers as we walked -- this was an encouraging sign.  We were still in the moorland biome and...


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After another cold night on the mountain (it was two degrees Celsius inside the tents) we awoke to a wonderful sight... Mt. Meru in a sea of clouds.   Mt. Meru, Tanzania's second highest mountain, in a sea of clouds as seen from Karanga Camp. Incredible view so early in the morning and a great way to begin our day.  The hike today would be a short three hours, so after a hearty breakfast we headed to Millenium camp.  The terrain was very much the same, but we did see obsidian rocks (formed when the lava from a...


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GIO Director, Tony Murphy, taking water temperature in stream near Baranco camp early in the morning.  Temperature was 5C. Karanga camp, which is 10 m below Baranco camp is home for Monday night.  What an adventurous day we had getting there!  We began our morning taking soil moisture measurements for the SMAP campaign.  Mark Brettenny, GLOBE Africa Regional Officer, checking on a soil moisture probe before students take measurements. Then we hiked the 'wall.' As we left camp, it was full with a human train -- lots of hikers, guides and...


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Greetings from NASA and the SMAP Mission! The SMAP Soil Moisture Measurement Field Campaign begins in 3 days. The NASA SMAP satellite mission wants your soil moisture data. Click HERE for more information.  


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Measuring water temperature. After breakfast we split into the two groups.  Mark Brettenny of GLOBE Africa's Regional Office and I, stayed with group 1 to focus more on science.  Our next camp site is Baranco camp, 3940m, so a lower elevation than Lava Tower and set in a magnificent glacial valley.  Lava Tower, over 100 m high and formed when the volcano was active. During the hike we stopped and took a stream measurement.  The stream was frozen, and the Omani students were excited to see it.  The water flowing underneath...


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We began the hike to Lava Tower, our next campsite, on Saturday morning. At 4600 m it was a significant rise in altitude.  About two hours into our hike, we stopped at a stream to take some GLOBE measurements.  Here students collected data and entered it into an iPad with the GLOBE Data Entry App .  Once we get back to a Wifi connection, all the data we are collecting will be uploaded into the database for all of us to see. Animals are difficult to see in this terrain but they do leave clues for you -- those come in all shapes and sizes.  Earlier...


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Very early Friday morning, we heard the Colobus monkeys screaming and howling.  We awoke to find a Blue Monkey visiting our camp and checking us out.  We left Big Tree camp to a rousing African Omani mix of songs.  Soon we would be at our first protocol destination, a site within the rainforest.  Once we arrived there we divided into groups.  We took atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and pedosphere measurements.  Once completed we began to transition from rainforest to moorland.  This had heather growing tall, as a scrub... very...


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(Editor's Note: Due to connectivity issues, some of Tony's blogs are being routed through his home office for posting.) The day finally arrived when we would begin our adventure.   After breakfast, we boarded the bus… a very crowded bus and began the three hour drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park.  At the entrance we signed in and saw all the porters who would be accompanying us and taking all the gear.  In our trekking party we had over 90 porters join us, so our group in total is almost 120.  Wow, what a lot of people. We then left the entrance...


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