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Oman Workshop Amplifies Near East and North Africa Regional Growth

The first training workshop in Oman took place from 8-12 October 2011 in the city of Muscat. This event aimed to prepare new Omani teachers as well as supervisors and delegates from Oman and other countries in the region, 27 participants total, to use GLOBE protocols in their research activities. This workshop is the first step of GLOBE implementation into Omani classroom activities. Oman is following a strategic start-up model, beginning with six schools from different regions throughout the country, who will serve as mentors to new GLOBE schools in the years to come. 

Trainees learned GLOBE protocols through instructional classroom sessions paired with engaged field excursions throughout Muscat. Fadi Bou Ali, GLOBE Master Trainer from Lebanon, guided Land Cover and Biology protocol training. Following an instructional session on GPS and mapping, trainees practiced using densitometers and clinometers at the land cover site at Koroum Garden. Participants learned about site definition, tree circumference, and tree density using the MUC Field Guide. Bahrain Country Coordinator Mrs. Wafa Mubarak Bin Dayna gave instruction on Soil protocols, introducing differences in soil layers, soil types, and their importance. Mrs. Mubarak Bin Dayna accompanied participants to the soil site where they learned to take and record data pertaining to soil characterization, temperature, and pH. Bahrain Deputy Country Coordinator Mrs. Seddiqa Abbas Ghuloom led Hydrology training and explained the importance of salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, transparency, and water temperature. Atmosphere protocols were conducted by GLOBE Teacher and Master Trainer Mr. Rafat Jambi from Saudi Arabia. After a discussion of site definition and data collection, the teachers used GLOBE equipment to take data measurements. Mr. Jambi led them through barometric pressure, cloud, precipitation, and temperature protocols.

In addition to the training sessions, the event also served as a platform from which to discuss plans to create a Near East and North Africa (NENA) regional web page and the NENA Climate Research Competition, a regional competition in which students will research the relationship between climate change, land cover, and local land use. GLOBE Oman Country Coordinator Mrs. Asma Salim Rashid AlBelushi said, "Being involved in issues related to people's lives makes the students appreciate their role in conserving the environment. This is what we aim to achieve through participation in the GLOBE Program."

The event was organized by the NENA Regional Help Desk Office and GLOBE Oman. Regional Help Desk Office Director Mrs. Sawsan Abu Fakhreddine opened the event and Near East North Africa GIAC Representative Mrs. Zakeya Ahmed Ali Zada also attended. As a result of this workshop, all new Omani teachers and supervisors were trained in four investigation areas and data entry. Plans for a regional website were discussed, and the NENA Climate Research Competition is underway for all regional schools.

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18 November 2011