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GLOBE Latin America and the Caribbean Prepares for Student Climate Research Campaign

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GLOBE leaders from 11 countries met 28 July through 2 August 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to discuss student research initiatives focused on exploring climate change. Representatives from Argentina, The Bahamas, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Perú, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay focused on new opportunities posed by GLOBE's Earth System Science Projects (ESSPs) and the GLOBE Student Climate Research Campaign.


Dr. Teresa Kennedy, Director of GLOBE International Division, welcomed attendants to the meeting and made several announcements, including the reinstatement of NOAA as a U.S. agency sponsor of GLOBE. Dr. Kennedy highlighted changes underway on the GLOBE website in order to better serve the GLOBE community. She also stressed the importance of involving students, teachers, and scientists from each country in the region to ensure relevance of the scientific and educational contexts of GLOBE, focusing special attention on planning and implementing the GLOBE Student Climate Research Campaign throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region.

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Ms. Amalia Aubone, the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Desk Officer, presented current Regional Office activities, promoted the publication of GLOBE Stars describing all the impressive implementation activities occurring in their region, and invited Country Coordinators to report regularly on their country's activities. Additionally, Ms. Aubone presented implementation statistics concerning the 18 countries that comprise the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

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Presently, there are 13 Master Trainers, 575 GLOBE Schools, 890 GLOBE Teachers in the Latin America and the Caribbean GLOBE region, and 551,103 measurements have been reported to the international GLOBE database, which consists of more than 21 million data submissions to date. The regional office ratified an agreement with each GLOBE country within their region to promote the development of the GLOBE Seasons and Biomes Project since this project is consistent with the research activities currently underway in the region. Likewise, the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office plans to implement a Scientific Regional Council to evaluate the research conducted in each country; this council will highlight the country most involved and assist with participation in the 2013 GLOBE Learning Expedition, which will focus on climate research. Ms. Aubone invited all attendees to visit the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional website to find out more about GLOBE events in the region and to increase collaborations across the region.

Country Coordinators present at the meeting described current projects and activities occurring in their country. Highlights include:

  • Argentina; Ms Amalia Aubone, representing Country Coordinator Professor Maria del Carmen Galloni, described Argentina's participation in a Live Earth "Run for Water" event, and the
  • Hydrology research underway by GLOBE Primary students in Base Esperanza, Antarctica.
  • Bahamas Country Coordinator Mr. Godfrey Burnside spoke about current priorities, including the development of a new scientific program focusing on GLOBE partnerships expanding across the country.
  • Costa Rica Country Coordinator, Mr. Roberto Quiros Araya, highlighted Hydrology investigations on macroinvertebrates, expressing how important it is that students collect data, learn to make decisions based on that data, and recognize that those decisions contribute to water awareness in their country.
  • Ecuador Assistant Country Coordinator Dr. Rocio Bastidas outlined the effort to incorporate GLOBE among the science education activities that indigenous populations in Ecuador engage in to establish baseline data in support of the climate change adaptation process.
  • Guatemala Country Coordinator Lic. Jose Enrique Cortez explained how GLOBE is maintained and developed through a Ministry of Education project known as Demonstrative Schools of the Future.
  • Honduras Country Coordinator Ms. Dina Elizabeth Morel Carbajal spoke about the significance of GLOBE implementation in communitarian schools and explained how communitarian students employ various GLOBE Protocols in Patuca National Park, the second largest park in Honduras.
  • Mexico, Country Coordinator, Mtra. Teresita del Niño Jesús Maldonado Salazar and Rebeca Contreras, Deputy Country Coordinator, mentioned that GLOBE Program activities are being evaluated to enhance their performance in Mexico in order to strengthen the connection between GLOBE and the national educative curriculum.
  • Perú, Country Coordinator representative, Biologist Claudia Caro, mentioned that GLOBE has been included in official books distributed by the Ministry of the Environment, further explaining that these books guide the national environmental education processes. She also presented their proposed activities in connection with the GLOBE Student Research Campaign, which takes into consideration Peru's wide climatic diversity.
  • Suriname Country Coordinator Mr. Gregoir Benjamin Berenos emphasized the importance to include volunteers in activities related to GLOBE Program implementation across Suriname.
  • Trinidad and Tobago Country Coordinator, Mr. Henry Saunders outlined his unique GLOBE activities working at a juvenile prison (a youth detention center), as well as in the university with pre-service teachers, and with seniors in order to promote the exchange of knowledge between older and younger generations in the community about environmental issues.
  • Uruguay Country Coordinator, Ms. Andrea Ventoso discussed the development of the CEIBAL Project which provides each child with a computer, and how she is incorporating GLOBE as a tool to expand the use of computers throughout Uruguay.

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Attendees discussed the integration of GLOBE projects into science and technology fairs in the Latin American and Caribbean region. This item will be more deeply explored in the future and may become an important point of exchange for ideas and experiences.

GLOBE Alumni representative, Juan Diego Calvo Pérez Rodó from Peru, presented on alumni involvement and requested that every GLOBE Country Coordinator work with the teachers in their country to identify new Alumni members and ensure that the region's Alumni Network builds capacity and continues to grow.

The meeting concluded with the reorganization of the region's committees and responsibilities of each country within the region's shared governance structure. The results were documented as follows:

  • Coordination of Institutional Development: Lead: Argentina working with Costa Rica, Honduras, Surinam, and Paraguay.
  • Coordination of Educational Development, Training, and Evaluation: Lead: Mexico working with Perú, Uruguay, Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Coordination of Resource Management: Lead: Bahamas working with Ecuador and Dominican Republic.
  • GIAC Representative: Lead: Argentina, Profesora Maria del Carmen Galloni

The GLOBE Program acknowledges the hard work of the GLOBE Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office and the 18 Country Coordinators in the region for their continued dedication to promote GLOBE student research. Their pledge to involve student activities in climate research and expand Alumni involvement in their region maps a path for success over the next year.

Read about the Student Climate Research Campaign, officially beginning September 2011.

Read recent GLOBE Stars in Latin America and the Caribbean:

Read this Star in Spanish.

25 October 2010