Letter to the Community
Kilimanjaro! The beautiful word fills me with awe and, I'll admit, a certain degree of apprehension. It has been 30 years since I slogged up the Himalayas to a harsh, oxygen-starved altitude of 6,000 meters. It was a challenge then, and will be again. At the same time, I am also excited to be on my way, in just two days, to become part of this historic GLOBE 20th Anniversary / Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition to the summit of the highest peak in Africa. GLOBE Africa and Xpedition leader Michael O'Toole have another fantastic experience in store this year as our 24 member research team of students, scientists, teachers and friends embarks on the 8-day trek, focusing on data collection; in-depth observations of the distinct biomes we'll be passing through; as well as measurements of the environmental conditions and shrinking glacier at the summit.
Barring any connectivity issues, I plan to be blogging regularly from the trail. You can find my blog here. There will also be regular reports from Xpedition members throughout, opportunities for you to send questions to the team, and two webinars -- one recorded yesterday and archived; and another to take place on 8 October, a week after the conclusion of the trek, to report on our findings. All vital information can be found on the 2015 Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition webpage. I do hope you will follow along there, and on Facebook and Twitter, from 24 September through 1 October.
Click on the image above to visit the Xpedition webpage.
- - - - -
Our GLOBE calendar is full of activities during the coming month. When the Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition ends on October 1, the NASA SMAP Campaign begins. From 1 October 2015 - 30 April 2016, the SMAP satellite mission will initiate a 7-month-long soil moisture measurement campaign and invites GLOBE schools to participate. To learn more about the SMAP Campaign, click here. Also, this NASA video is a great place to get up to speed on the SMAP Mission.
- - - - -
Next, from 17-22 October, we are hosting out second Data Entry Challenge of 2015 to coincide with Earth Science Week. Our first Data Entry Challenge was a huge success: a considerable amount of data poured into the GLOBE database that week. One school even entered five years of data! Thank you for that! You heard me say this before, but it bears repeating: data collection is at the heart of The GLOBE Program. The data you collect tells a story of the environmental conditions at a moment in time. Data are as important now as they were on the day you collected them. And we all can use the data once they are in the database! So I encourage you to participate in the Data Entry Challenge. Please report data from old data entry sheets that you never got around to entering. If your data collection is up-to-date, then go outside to collect more data to enter. We will be recognizing the schools that entered the most data during the Data Entry Challenge on the GLOBE website. Here are the schools entering the most data for first 2015 Data Entry Challenge, this past April. Your school could be on the list of top schools reporting the most data for the next Data Entry Challenge, 17-22 October 2015.
- - - - -
Until next time... wish us luck on the Kilimanjaro Learning Xpediton and remember to follow us online during the exciting journey to the Roof of Africa.
Lastly, take note: the GLOBE website will be "Read Only" on 19 September and again on 3-5 October, while upgrades are made to the site.
Dr. Tony Murphy
Director, GLOBE Implementation Office