Schools in Greece Participate in Earth Observation Day Via Donation from West Virginia University
West Virginia University faculty member and GLOBE scientist Dr. Rick Landenberger provided students at five Greek schools with scientific equipment to participate in Earth Observation Day, a STEM (Science, Education, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational event organized by the AmericaView consortium in partnership with the international SATELLITES Program and GLOBE. The schools included the 6th Gymnasium of Volos, the 3rd Lyceum of Aigaleo, the Gymnasium of Tinos, the 1st Gymnasium of Preveza, and Pierce College. Each school used the donated equipment, consisting of infrared thermometers (IRTs) and GPS units, to conduct measurements for the study of land surface temperatures around their schools. With the new equipment, the schools correlated their measurements with thermal measurements from space using the USGS-administered Landsat satellite. The five schools participate in GLOBE, an international Environmental Education program that collaborates with Dr. Landenberger at West Virginia University and Dr. Nektaria Adaktilou of the Department of Physics, Division of Environmental Physics- Meteorology of the University of Athens. Drs. Adaktilou and Landenberger are members of the GLOBE Science Advisory Committee, and this year the two scientists worked closely with the GLOBE SATELLITES Program Director Dr. Kevin Czajkowski at the University of Toledo. Dr. Czajkowski is also a member of the GLOBE Science Advisory Committee and a partner in AmericaView.
Around 12:15 PM (local Athens time) on April 10th, AmericaView’s Earth Observation Day, the Volos students, together with their Physics and Meteorology teacher Mrs. Sophia Papargyri who is responsible for the GLOBE Program at the school, took measurements of the surface temperatures around their school using their IRT with specific location data from a GPS. The same measurements were made by other schools around the world participating in Earth Observation Day, including schools supported by Dr. Landenberger in West Virginia.
Two different surface materials were examined during the Earth Observation Day experiment: asphalt and grass. The study areas were 90 X 90 meters so that they would be comparable to the thermal band of the Landsat satellite. Five surface temperature measurements were made using the IRTs for each surface type and geo-located at each specific location using the GPS. The data were then averaged, graphed, and analyzed in comparison with the Landsat thermal data. The time of the experiment was selected using GLOBE protocols so that the maximum solar radiation angle at the time the local measurements were taken would be comparable with the satellite images.
The Volos students also created a poster about Earth Observation Day, as their activity was part of a GLOBE SATELLITES international Field Campaign Initiative.
Mrs. Papargyri stated that “the excellent cooperation we have with Dr. Nektaria Adaktilou, scientific representative responsible for the GLOBE Program and the Remote Sensing Laboratory of the Dept. of Physics of the University of Athens, made this possible. What was also very important, was the offer of Dr. Landenberger from West Virginia University who in the hard times we are going through, kindly offered to send us the equipment for the experiment, the infrared thermometers and the GPS units.” Mrs. Papargyri added that “it is an honor for our school to participate in such a Program, that allows the students to become research scientists for the day.” Another colleague working with the GLOBE Program at the school is Mr. Achileas Karetsos.
The students at the 6th Gymnasium of Volos also participate in the GLOBE Program’s cloud cover measurements, which are taken three times a week. The school is one of eight participating GLOBE schools in Greece. The Program operates in Greece under the supervision of Dr. Nektaria Adaktilou at the University of Athens, Dept. of Physics, Division of Environmental Physics-Meteorology.
A group of students from the Volos school will participate in the 1st Physics Competition for high school students organized by the University of Athens and The Hellenic Physicists Society.
Title Translation: Donation from West Virginia University
Mrs. Papargyri (far left) and her students with their infrared thermometers and GPS units at the 6th Gymnasium of Volos