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Letter to the Community

31 January 2016

Dear Friends, 


Albert Einstein said, "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." It's hard to contradict Einstein, but sometimes it does seem that, in fact, everything is happening at once. This is a sign of the new energy that is emerging within the Program and certainly here, at the GIO, where we are juggling many current events and projects in development. I foresee a very exciting 2016 for The GLOBE Program. 

Today, we celebrate the 1st Anniversary of NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite launch. As most of you know, SMAP is the orbiting observatory designed to measure the amount of water in the top 5 cm (2 inches) of soil everywhere on Earth's surface every three days. On Tuesday, 02 February at 4:00 p.m. ET (9:00 p.m. UTC), we'll be hosting a webinar: "One Year of the SMAP Mission and Global Shout-Out to all the GLOBE schools/teams collecting SMAP soil moisture data." The webinar will highlight year one of the SMAP satellite mission in space; discuss campaign measurements with SMAP scientists; and have a report from teacher Vicky Gorman in New Jersey, USA, and teacher Marina Barisic in Croatia. Find more information on the GLOBE website.

A big event in 2016 is the International Virtual Science Fair and teachers, I hope that it is front and center on your calendars. If your students need help, scientists from the GLOBE International Scientists' Network (GISN) have volunteered to mentor student projects. See the complete list, including contact information, here: All projects entered that meet requirements, will be eligible for a stipend to defray the cost of attending the GLOBE 2016 Annual Meeting and Student Research Experience in Colorado this summer. Recipients will be selected by a drawing on Earth Day, 22 April. Find all information about the fair and submit your project at  Deadline for project submission is 11 March. More details on the drawing will follow.

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The GLOBE Implementation Office (GIO) needs help translating GLOBE Program materials. If you want to become involved, please contact Thanks to all volunteers listed below, who have answered the call so far: Henna Kausher, Desh Bandhu, Irene Farrow, Nadhira Ahmed Alharthy, Anna Heyne-Mudrich, Liudmila Gavrish, Inna Curkan, Thanapun Chalee, and Danielle de Staerke.

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A group of people pose for a photo.
One of the largest gatherings of Country Coordinators from the Asia and Pacific Region was convened earlier this month in Chiang Rai, Thailand.


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As we launch full speed into 2016, I would like to call out some of the highlights of the past year and express my appreciation for your ongoing support. My sincere thanks go to our Sponsors, without whose help the Program would not be possible, and to our four Working Groups (WGs) for their insight and advice. Thanks to the Regional Office Coordinators and their staffs, and the U.S. and International Partners for their many contributions, including:

  • Regional Meetings held in Chicago, Taiwan, Poland, Suriname, Tanzania, and Jordan;
  • UNESCO-GLOBE Learning Expedition in Nepal;
  • GLOBE Games in Czech Republic;
  • Regional GLOBE Learning Expedition in Estonia;
  • Student Camp in Oman;
  • Mt. Kilimanjaro Xpedition;
  • The European Aerosol and Climate Project;
  • Ukraine Student Phenology Campaign; 
  • Texas students' community service video highlighted by U.S. President Obama;
  • Suriname Country Coordinate (Monique Pool) named one of ten CNN Heroes of 2015;
  • Numerous training workshops for GLOBE trainers and teachers; and 
  • Fabulous 20th anniversary celebrations throughout the world.

In addition, thanks to my team at GIO that implements the Program and helps support your engagement with GLOBE and the growth of the community. In 2015, GIO:  

  • Dramatically increased membership in the GLOBE International Scientists' Network to 260 members;
  • Supported SMAP and GPM satellite missions with campaign tools and communications; explored collaboration with SMAP and SciStarter in the U.S., India and Czech Republic;
  • Launched the 2016 International Virtual Science Fair - currently in full swing;
  • Facilitated translation of data entry forms into multiple languages;
  • Improved website training with custom tailored tutorial videos;
  • Published the Annual Review for distribution at the Annual Meeting;
  • Introduced the Citizen Science initiative to GLOBE community; and
  • Assisted NASA and the Department of State to bring on 3 new countries in 2015: Mauritius, Brazil and Vietnam.

I would like to thank Raytheon Web Solutions for their expertise in building a website that is responsive to the needs of our community, and for working with GIO to: 

  • Invent and design a process for data entry for the citizen science app;
  • Improve processing of science data; and
  • Design and/or update the data entry and visualization requirements for recording, storing, and presenting the data for the Mosquito Larvae, Lilac, and SMAP protocols.

Now, two final reminders: 

  • If you are a U.S. Partner, International Country Coordinator, Regional Office Coordinator, member of the GLOBE International Scientists' Network, or a GLOBE teacher anywhere in the world, today is the deadline for completing the Annual Survey. Please help us reach our goal of 100% participation. 
  • There are still a few months left in our anniversary year. If you are planning any special events, please let us know.

I look forward to working with you in 2016 to further enhance and grow the Program. GLOBE would not be possible without a world community of dedicated individuals like you, and I thank each one of you for your contributions and for your continued support in the year ahead.



Tony Murphy signature
Dr. Tony Murphy  
Director, GLOBE Implementation Office


GLOBE 20th Anniversary

News Topics: Community Letters type: globe-news

News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office