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And so last time we wondered whether Jayme would reach the summit... read her account below, to find out. September 29, 2015 With very little sleep at Kosovo camp, we bundled on our layers and tried to eat some breakfast on September 29, 2015. After making sure we had plenty of water, we began our daunting task up the volcanic scree. The guides led us up a path with many switchbacks, but it did not help us with the lower oxygen we were getting with each breathe. As the clouds rolled in, the Omani team was frequently asking for breaks. The guides would find a spot with larger...


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Greetings from NASA and the SMAP Mission! The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission is an orbiting observatory that measures the amount of water in the top 5 cm (2 inches) of soil everywhere on Earth’s surface will soon be placed in a polar orbit around Earth. The topsoil layer is the one in which the food we eat grows and where other vegetation lives. Moisture in the soil indirectly affects us in a variety of ways. In the course of its observations, SMAP will also determine if the ground is frozen or thawed in colder areas of the world. SMAP is designed to measure soil...


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GLOBE Teachers and Students, The GLOBE/SMAP Soil Moisture Measurement Field Campaign has begun!   To support this effort, the SMAP satellite mission invites GLOBE schools to participate in the 7-month-long soil moisture measurement campaign. Students will take soil moisture measurements following the GLOBE SMAP Block Pattern Soil Moisture (Volumetric) Protocol and input this data into GLOBE.  Once the data is input, other GLOBE schools and SMAP scientists can view the student-collected data, through the GLOBE visualization tool, and compare it to the SMAP satellite data....


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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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