Letter to the Community
29 July 2016
The 20th GLOBE Annual Meeting took place last week in Estes Park, Colorado. I would like to recap the highlights of the meeting here for those of you who were unable to attend, to thank those who did, and to urge all of you to make a note on your calendars regarding the 2017 Annual Meeting. It will take place in July 2017 and the location will be announced within the next few months. If it's anything like this year's meeting, you won't want to miss it.
The annual meeting is a highlight of the year for the GLOBE community. Every year we come together to learn from each other, to talk, network, propose new ideas, renew old friendships and create new ones. We all returned from this year's meeting richer for these new and renewed friendships and incredibly energized about the potential for our work with GLOBE in the year ahead.
This year was one of our most successful meetings yet, with over 200 people from 31 countries. It included the second Student Research Experience and the fourth GLOBE Student Research Exhibition, with an extraordinary group of students from Croatia, Japan, Mongolia, Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States. New features were introduced this year, such as an exhibit hall and something called "unconferencing," which was an opportunity for participants to spontaneously introduce topics for conversation beyond those fixed in the agenda.
We were incredibly fortunate to be next to, and visit, one of the U.S. National Park system's most spectacular areas, Rocky Mountain National Park. Holding the meeting that celebrated the conclusion of GLOBE's 20th anniversary year at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, which is also celebrating an anniversary (100 years of the National Park Service), afforded many opportunities for reflection about the shared values that inspired the creation of these two valuable resources.
As the National Park Service (NPS) enters its second century, science will play an increasingly important role in decisions related to ongoing efforts to preserve and protect the national parks for future generations. It became obvious, from our discussions with park rangers and park managers, that GLOBE's efforts dovetail with NPS efforts to provide the public with education, enhanced resource stewardship, and new citizen science efforts within the parks. It seems that no matter where we go, no matter where we hold our meetings, we find people and organizations eager to know more about us, to assist us, and to join forces with us.
The 2016 Annual Meeting, with its energy and new additions, is symbolic of a program that is evolving and changing in a positive way. The number of schools entering data has increased for the second year in a row and the number of observations has increased in that time as well. The Program's Working Groups are focused on moving the program forward; the U.S. Partner Forum worked with the U.S. Country Coordinator to host a number of science fairs around the United States; the GLOBE International Virtual Science Fair had a record number of submissions; numerous science fairs and student exchanges have been organized around the world; and the list goes on. What a wonderful engaged community we are.
Links to highlights of the Annual Meeting:
Photos by photographer Jen Campbell
And what's in store in the months ahead?
By September, the new GLOBE Observer app will be officially launched. This will open data entry to non-school based audiences in GLOBE countries, with Clouds as the first measurement. The new Mosquito Protocol launched at the annual meeting is gaining increasing interest and momentum worldwide; new learning activities will be launched in the next few months, quickly followed by another curriculum development project that will focus on using the National Research Council's Science Framework; lilac data entry forms will be added soon; U.S. partners are collaborating on possible proposals for NSF funding; and we have already begun to plan for another international virtual science fair (IVSF) for 2017, based on the enormous success of the 2016 IVSF.
I want to thank all of you for your contributions to GLOBE and for helping move it forward.
In closing, I would like you to know that we welcome visitors to the GLOBE Implementation Office (GIO)! The group shown here, showed up yesterday.
Hopefully, some of the Annual Meeting participants who are still in the area will stop by too. Our door is always open. If you ever find yourself in Boulder, Colorado, I encourage you to visit the GIO.
Dr. Tony Murphy
Director, GLOBE Implementation Office