Letter to the Community
24 March 2017
Those of you who are well versed in the history of The GLOBE Program don't need to be reminded of the fact that Earth Day is extra-special for us. Nonetheless, I like to tell everyone, every year, that this day is important. Why? Because GLOBE began operations on Earth Day in 1995; it's the anniversary of the day our work began. Now we are about to turn 22 - a little more mature and mindful of the responsibilities that come with each passing year, and yet still young enough to know we can make the world a better place... young enough to refuse to believe otherwise! GLOBE has given us a fundamental understanding of how the Earth systems that surround us work and are connected, how for example, deforestation leads to an expansion of deserts, which then creates dust storms in Asia and food shortages in Northern Africa. And that's important because until the true nature of a problem is understood deeply (and cared about) it cannot be solved creatively.
Recently, we put out a call to GLOBE teachers around the world, asking them to show us, on video in 3 minutes or less, just how GLOBE is being implemented in their classrooms. Hundreds of videos have been coming in to the Regional Offices this week and I've had a sneak preview of some of them. I'm thrilled with the results and want to thank the GLOBE teachers and students who responded to our request. We will be broadcasting one video from each of the six GLOBE regions (Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Latin American and Caribbean, Near East and North Africa, and North America) during a live streaming YouTube broadcast in celebration of Earth Day.
There is no way to measure the creative potential of a student who is highly motivated, confident, works well with others, enjoys mastering new skills and feels supported. But you will see students with these traits in all our videos and you'll know instinctively that GLOBE does indeed create the smart, caring, creative problem-solvers our world needs.
Click here for our live streaming of the GLOBE Earth Day YouTube Broadcast on Friday, 21 April 2017 at 9:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) / 3:00 PM UTC and enjoy the show. You can also go to the globe.gov homepage that day, to find the link.
Earth Day events everywhere bring people together, so I'm asking the GLOBE community to come together in spirit, wherever you live, to engage in a common activity. Let's make Earth Day a Cloud Observation Day and let's use the GLOBE Observer app or GLOBE's enhanced Cloud Protocol to make our observations. Data collection is a pivotal part of the GLOBE experience and data are what help us understand and solve problems. Make this Earth Day memorable by assisting us achieve a surge in cloud observation data reported to the GLOBE database on Earth Day!
In the United States, more than 100 libraries will be participating in the NASA@My Library project led by the Space Sciences Institute (SSI), a part of the NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative, along with the Institute for Global Strategies (IGES) and the GLOBE Implementation Office (GIO). They, too, will be engaging in observing clouds using the GLOBE Observer app. You can see the latest list of registered libraries and their preliminary plans here.
NASA also loves to celebrate Earth Day. NASA uses the vantage point of space to improve our understanding of "the most complex planet we've seen yet." The agency's Earth-observing satellites, airborne research and field campaigns (many of which involve GLOBE students) are designed to observe our planet's dynamic systems - oceans, ice sheets, forests and atmosphere - and improve our ability to understand how our planet is changing and could change. NASA's Earth Now will soon be announcing another creative global Earth Day project. Look for news of that, on the GLOBE website, on 3 April.
- - - - -That reminds me... 3 April is also the deadline to submit student research reports and presentations for the International Virtual Science Symposium (IVSS). Students who participate in GLOBE science symposia become members of an elite group of students whose projects are reviewed by international scientists and peers and presented online for the whole world to read. It's a unique and extremely rewarding opportunity. Read all about it here.
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My last order of business is to welcome the new members of the GLOBE Working Groups (WGs).
Three years ago, we began the process of forming "Working Groups" to help shape an inclusive and productive future for the Program, supporting the development and implementation of GLOBE worldwide, and providing an open forum for community feedback and discussion of programmatic priorities with NASA and supporters. The four WGs are composed of eight members of the GLOBE community with relevant expertise who serve on a rotating basis. An effort is made to ensure that members of all of the six GLOBE regions are included in the groups to the fullest extent possible.
It's my pleasure to announce and welcome the newly appointed members of the four GLOBE Working Groups.
Diana Garasic (Croatia-Europe and Eurasia representative)
Constantinos (Costas) Cartalis (Greece - At Large representative)
Maria Lorraine de Ruiz-Alma (Dominican Republic-Latin America and Caribbean representative)
All five individuals have already done so much to advance GLOBE in their countries and regions. We all benefit from their continuing commitment to GLOBE worldwide.
Have a good weekend everyone!
Dr. Tony Murphy
Director, GLOBE Implementation Office