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GLOBE Stars: Kingsburg High School, CA United States and Utajarven Ylaaste School, Utajarvi, Finland

GLOBE students, teachers and scientists know that one of the most enjoyable and important aspects of The GLOBE Program is the ability to communicate easily with other GLOBE participants around the world. Often, these communications lead to long-lasting connections, like the relationship enjoyed by GLOBE schools in Kingsburg, CA, and Utajdrvi, Finland.

After meeting at the GLOBE Conference in Helsinki last year, the Kingsburg High GLOBE team traveled around Finland, collecting hydrology data along their journey. A highlight of these two days was the fact that they spent it with GLOBE students and teachers at Utajarven Ylaaste school, taking hikes through a national park and going on a midnight canoe ride under the light of the sun!

Since last summer, the two schools maintained a lively relationship via GLOBEmail and email. Recently, the Kingsburg students returned the hospitality of their Finnish friends by hosting a group of GLOBE students and teachers from Utajdrvi.

During their stay, the Finnish students and teachers demonstrated how they determine tree volume per hectare in the midst of a Ponderosa Pine forest below El Capitan. They also enjoyed whale watching in Monterey Bay. The two groups exchanged gifts including musical instruments made by the Finnish students and sports jerseys donated by Kingsburg's football team.

"The sharing of our home cultures ane environments, and exchanging environmental monitoring techniques from our common bond with the GLOBE Program gave us new perspectives of friends from other lands," said GLOBE teacher Peggy Foletta. "Not only do we share the Earth and monitor it from our separate little communities, but we shared an understanding of some of the people with whom we share this Earth, an understanding that will hopefully move toward a shared stewardship of our common home, our planet Earth."

"We really enjoyed the cooperation with GLOBE students and teachers, and we got ideas for future cooperation and data exchange," added Utajdrvi GLOBE teacher Timo Pakonen. "We got a great view of the nature and environment of California - trees, water falls, whales, seals, farming... and the golden people of the Golden State."

03 April 1999