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NASA Administrator Pays Personal Visit to GLOBE Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean

On 25 October 2011, the GLOBE leadership team in Argentina attended a reception at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires in honor of NASA General Administrator Mr. Charles Bolden Jr. to celebrate the successful bilateral cooperation between NASA and CONAE (Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales or National Space Activities Commission). Mr. Bolden stated, "NASA has a long history of cooperation with Argentina, having signed nearly 50 agreements with various government organizations in the last 50 years." The U.S. Ambassador and Mr. Bolden both gave credit to the GLOBE Program as an existing educational NASA cooperative in Argentina. Many outstanding GLOBE students that have received awards from the Embassy were also invited to attend.

Following the reception, CONAE Executive Director Dr. Conrado Varotto and GLOBE Country Coordinator Professor Maria Marta Daneri signed an agreement for educational collaboration between CONAE and The GLOBE Program. This was a significant moment for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Regional Help Desk Office and GLOBE Argentina after several months preparing for implementation of the program. Mr. Bolden held an informal question and answer session with the students to close the event.

Argentina became a GLOBE Country on 28 June 1995 when Jorge Rodriguez, Minister of Education, and U. S. Ambassador James R. Cheek, signed the official bilateral agreement in Buenos Aires. Since that time, Argentina has served as a hub of GLOBE activities in the Latin America and Caribbean region and a home for the LAC Regional Help Desk Office.

Mr. Bolden made an additional stop in Costa Rica on 28 October 2011, emphasizing the close relationship that has existed between NASA and Costa Rica since 2003. Since this time nine collaborative scientific missions have been developed between researchers and Costa Rican high school students, which have greatly enhanced student motivation regarding GLOBE Program initiatives.

In Costa Rica, Bolden participated in a GLOBE presentation led by GLOBE Country Coordinator Roberto Quirós Araya in the National Center of High Technology (CENAT). The audience included Keilor Rojas, Vice Minister of Science and Technology of Costa Rica; Anne Andrew, U.S. Ambassador in Costa Rica; Franklin Chang, former Costa Rican astronaut and entrepreneur; Eduardo Sibaja, Executive Director of CENAT; and Leda Muñoz, Executive Director of Omar Dengo Foundation. Additionally, nine GLOBE teachers and 27 GLOBE students attended, representing the following GLOBE institutions: Colegio GregorioJosé Ramírez, Liceo de San Rafael (Alajuela), Liceo de La Rita (Pococí), Liceo de Paraíso (Cartago), and Colegio Ingeniero Alejandro Quesada (La Unión de Cartago). The students were given the opportunity to ask Mr. Bolden questions at the end of the presentation.

On 22 April 1996, Costa Rica became a GLOBE country when Rene Castro Salazar, Minister of the Environment and Energy, and U. S. Ambassador Peter Jon de Vos, signed the official bilateral agreement in San Jose. Since that time, GLOBE activities have been managed by the Omar Dengo Foundation (Fundación Omar Dengo). Costa Rica Country Coordinator Mr. Roberto Quirós Araya is extremely active, serving in the role of committee lead for institutional management of GLOBE in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Read more about recent achievements in Argentina and Costa Rica:

15 November 2011