GLOBE Partner, Iowa
Iowa Academy of Science
The love of learning and passion for doing GLOBE has long been part of Marcy Seavey's life. Currently, she is Program Director for the Iowa Academy of Science and she coordinates the GLOBE Partnership and Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) and provides staff support for the Iowa Junior Academy of Science and the Iowa science teaching section of the Academy.
In the early 2000s, Seavey coordinated GLOBE's two-year GLOBE ONE pilot project. GLOBE ONE was a field campaign partnering students and scientists in an investigation of the impacts of tilling soil for farming. The campaign, which took place in Black Hawk County, Iowa, examined a variety of aspects of the environment, from how much rain and snow fall in northeastern Iowa throughout the year, to the properties of local streams and soil, to how plants and animals change as the seasons change. Today, she is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the GLOBE Program and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Alignment workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Seavey, along with Partner David Bydlowski and Kristin Wegner from the GLOBE Program Office in Boulder, Colorado will host a community webinar on 11 September that will focus on preparing GLOBE community members to implement NGSS.
Seavey has a B.A in Natural History Interpretation and an M.A. in Field Biology, Earth Science and Science Education from University of Northern Iowa, USA, along with an avid interest in connecting with teachers to engage in field studies to enhance classroom studies of the environment. "I had come into my Masters Program as a naturalist wanting to connect with teachers in better ways and graduated convinced of the need for hands-on science and better teacher professional development in this area." She became familiar with the GLOBE Program in May 1999, when Dr. David McCalley of the Iowa Project WET Program informed her of the need for a grant-writer to craft a proposal to bring GLOBE to Iowa. "What is GLOBE?" she asked. After hearing McCalley's two-minute elevator speech, Seavey was hooked and spent the next few weeks learning about GLOBE and setting about to ensure that the Program would benefit the teachers and students of Iowa. She volunteered to write the grant proposal––a daunting task for a novice grant writer applying for substantial resources. "Dave looked at me like I was a toddler asking to jump off the high board at the swimming pool." But Seavey was undaunted, hoping for position to help with implementation of GLOBE in Iowa, should the proposal succeed. "McCalley made contacts with three other campuses and got us letters of support and commitments to host one workshop a year for three years. Less than two weeks after turning the proposal in, we heard that we received the grant and just like that, I was the full time Iowa Coordinator for the GLOBE Program."
"One of the great benefits of being involved in The GLOBE Program is the opportunity to engage with GLOBE Partners on an international level," Seavey said. "Before becoming involved in GLOBE all of my international experience came though Girl Scouts and Online gaming. Online gaming in the early 90's was primarily text based but it was also international. Gaming was the first place that I put Universal Time (UT) into practice. In online gaming, you don't always know where the people you are playing with are from, so you can't say "let's meet tomorrow at 3pm" and then show up at 3pm your local time. You have to use a common clock. Teachers, if you are having trouble getting your students to understand UT, challenge a gamer in the class to explain it to the rest of the class." Seavey recommends.
When asked, "Why should students become involved in GLOBE?" Seavey invites the students to speak for themselves. "Well, students, what if a NASA or NOAA scientist came to your class today and asked you to become her assistant? Only you can give her the valuable data she needs about your community in order to answer her questions about how Earth's systems work. You won't be alone, your whole class can join and so will students from over 100 other counties. And if you make an observation that you think is really weird, then you can take a look at the data from all those other schools and see if you can explain why it is weird, or discover that it isn't. By joining GLOBE and submitting data you'll be contributing data that no one else can––you will do it."