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GLOBE Students Practice Sun Photometer Use in Kiskunhalas, Hungary

On 26-28 May 2011, six Hungarian schools came together in Kiskunhalas, a city in southern Hungary located about 130km south of Budapest, to share research and discuss proper use of the sun photometer, an instrument used to collect data when performing the GLOBE Aerosols Protocol. Organized by the Bibó István Secondary Grammar School, the three-day workshop consisted of a mixture of lectures, research presentations, discussions regarding upcoming GLOBE events, and cultural and local activities. Five guest schools from different parts of the country were invited to participate by Bibó István, a school which has been a base institution of GLOBE in Hungary since 2008. This school has been cited on the Chief Scientist's Honor Roll for Atmosphere, Climate, Clouds, and Hydrology.

The workshop commenced on 26 May 2011 with an opening ceremony in which participants were greeted by Mr. Róbert Rapavi, Director of Bibó István, and Mr. István Simonyi, Senior Counselor at the Hungarian Ministry of National Resources. Following these ceremonies, Mr. Péter Tasnádi, Professor of the Department of Meteorology Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Hungary, gave a lecture on atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Mr. Balázs Grosz, a researcher of the same department, continued the theme of atmospheric research, presenting the results of his team's research on atmosphere-biosphere exchange of greenhouse gases. The first day ended with a cultural event at Bibó István; guests were invited to attend an exhibition of two exchange students from Thailand on their home country and culture.

The second day of the workshop focused on the methodology of taking measurements with a sun photometer. Participants shared their experiences with using a sun photometer and also discussed potential problems and ways to increase its accuracy and efficiency. Dr. Tamás Weidinger, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of ELTE, led a practical workshop in which guests were invited to report their own experiences using the sun photometer and exchange ideas regarding future implementation. The workshop was followed by a presentation on the European Union's Water Framework Directive given by Mr. István Kóbor, Chief Scientist of the Central-Transdanubian Environment and Water Authority. The last presentation of the day was given by Mr. Tibor Kalapos, Associate Professor of the Department of Plant Taxonomy and Ecology of ELTE. His topics included GLOBE Land Cover and Phenology measurements and the International Year of Forests 2011. Woven between lectures were poetry recitations by students on man and nature, which took place in the school garden, as well as an exhibition about wood motives in arts. For the day's final activity, participants visited the Astrological Observatory of Kiskunhalas.

The last day of the workshop was dedicated to preparation for future events. Participants planned for upcoming GLOBE meetings, particularly the GLOBE Europe & Eurasian Annual Conference 2011 which took place 1-6 June 2011, in Kiev, Ukraine. The schools also prepared a poster that was displayed at the 15th Annual GLOBE Partner Meeting, which took place 17-22 July 2011, in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.

The three-day workshop was a great success for the GLOBE Schools including organizing school Bibó István. The schools were able to discuss their individual GLOBE research projects as well as expand their knowledge of the current research being carried out by other GLOBE Schools. The workshop also reinforced the collaboration among schools and strengthened the implementation of the GLOBE program in Hungary.

Hungary joined the GLOBE community in March 1999; the GLOBE Program is currently implemented in 31 high schools. GLOBE Country Coordinator Ms. Piroska Tóth organizes expert discussions, teacher meetings, summer courses, and regularly visits GLOBE schools in Hungary to connect with students and teachers face-to-face. Trainings are held each year at a different GLOBE high school and are attended by students, teachers, and Ministry representatives. According to Ms. Tóth, "The hope of the GLOBE community in Hungary is not only to increase the number of measurements, but to also improve the quality of data collected while administering local research to contribute to environmental protection."

Read additional GLOBE Stars featuring Hungary:

22 August 2011