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Reflections on Success Shape Plans for the Future at 2012 Asia+Pacific Regional Meeting

group inside

On 19-20 March 2012, GLOBE leaders in the Asia+Pacific region convened to honor recent accomplishments and identify opportunities for continued collaboration and communication in their region. The Asia+Pacific Regional Meeting was hosted in Bangkok, Thailand, by the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), GLOBE Asia+Pacific Regional Help Desk Office, and the GLOBE Program Office. GLOBE Country Coordinators attended from Bangladesh, India, Japan, Maldives,

Dr. Dixon Bulter speaking

Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, along with representation from Taiwan, and Vietnam. Also in attendance were Dr. Dixon Butler, NASA Consultant and Former GLOBE Director/Chief Scientist, and Dr. Teresa Kennedy, GLOBE Program Office International Division Director. All country representatives in attendance presented accomplishments made and challenges encountered in their countries since the last regional meeting that took place in Washington D.C. in 2011.

GLOBE India Country Coordinator, and former Asia+Pacific GLOBE International Advisory Committee (GIAC) Regional Representative, Mr. Raj Mehta, was recognized for six years of services on the GIAC. The Asia+Pacific GLOBE Regional Help Desk Office was also recognized for the successful promotion and integration of GLOBE activities among countries in the region, and for coordinating several student-teacher collaborations in the region by the new GIAC representative, Nepal Country Coordinator Mr. Binod Shreshta, who also pledged his commitment to further facilitate meaningful discussions and activities among GLOBE countries in the region.

Thailand CC speaking

GLOBE Thailand Country Coordinator and IPST President Dr. Pornpun Waitayangkoon welcomed participants to the meeting and Dr. Kennedy presented an overview of current GLOBE Program activities, emphasizing the important responsibilities and contributions made by each Country Coordinator to facilitate school recruitment, conduct teacher training and engage in mentorship activities that support overall GLOBE implementation efforts in their respective countries.

GLOBE group posing

An important aspect of the meeting agenda included the alignment of their regional vision for implementation and collaboration activities in the scope of the overall GLOBE Program vision. The Regional Consortium Charter, formerly adopted during the 2007 Regional Meeting hosted by the Philippines, was discussed and revisions are currently being made. In addition, the working groups were reconstituted to ensure that all groups were organized according to the 2012 priorities of the region which include the development of a sustainability plan for strengthening the effectiveness of national, regional and international communication; developing regional and international GLOBE projects and collaborations; and further developing the Asia+Pacific regional master trainers corps.

group in front of table

Various presentations were given via Skype, including a presentation of the Student Climate Research Campaign (SCRC) by Dr. Donna Charlevoix, GLOBE Program Office Science and Education Division Director. Dr. Charlevoix detailed the present status and level of data submission from GLOBE students and encouraged Country coordinators in the region to participate in all aspects of the campaign, including participating in GLOBE's 2012 Earth Day Celebration Video Competition. Winners of the competition were from Thailand and India. Additionally, Mr. Madhuranga Rathnayake, Regional Alumni Representative for Sri Lanka, presented current research projects being facilitated by GLOBE alumni in the region. Participants actively discussed ways to strengthen GLOBE alumni activities in their countries.

listening to lecture

The GLOBE Regional Help Desk Office delivered a presentation on past and potential student exchange programs. The presentation included details about past programs such as the India Biodiversity Learning Expedition to Hong Kong in which students explored biodiversity at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden and Hong Kong Wetlands Park in order to promote student research on climate and its impact on various components of the ecosystem. Attendees discussed the importance of promoting more of these types of events in the region in order to bring GLOBE protocols to life even more for the benefit of students and teachers. Implementation of the regional project on watershed management was also discussed and accepted. Plans are currently underway to outline activities related to this initiative by interested countries in the region.

group doing science

Following the Regional Meeting, Dr. Waitayangkoon gave an afternoon tour of the GLOBE Thailand team office located at The Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) where the representatives from the 11 countries present had a chance to visit with the GLOBE Thailand staff. Dr. Butler stated, "The facilities we saw in Thailand for support of science education are wonderful." Staff members delivered a terrific presentation of the GLOBE Earth System Science books, available in both Thai and English versions; new Thai mosquito, coral, and budburst protocols; GLOBE cartoon animation; and student research reports. Associate Professors Dr. Krisanadej Jaroensutasinee and Dr. Mullica Jaroensutasinee presented the mosquito database system, coral database system, and additional GLOBE projects such as CloudSat, FLEXE and the Seasons and Biomes project that bring together Thai students with IPST scientists. In addition, Associate Professor Dr. Sompong Thammathaworn presented the Thai budburst project. Asia+Pacific representatives recognized Dr. Waitayangkoon and the entire GLOBE Thailand team for the outstanding quality and quantity of innovative projects and the strong commitment and dedication to the GLOBE Program since joining in 1999.

girls looking at paper

Following the event on 21-23 March 2012, 70 teachers and 137 students from 47 schools; and 47 scientists and educators attended a 4th School Earth System Science Presentation at Sirindhorn Science Home, Pathum Thani Province and a talk from Dr. Dixon Butler, who stated, "It is encouraging to see such fine student research projects at this student research symposium." Dr. Waitayangkoon noted, "Over the years, the conference activities have become increasingly diverse. This year, the participants not only enjoyed research presentations, but they also took part in various learning activities." This event was an opportunity for peer learning and the exchange of experiences that will undoubtedly benefit participating teachers and students in the future. Both the presentations and the competition itself enhance learning and cooperation in sustainable environmental protection.

Twenty-two research projects were presented in oral sessions and 44 in poster sessions. They included 12 invention projects from schools under the 1st Student Water Research Competition from the Thai Tap Junior Water Prize Project (TTJWP). In addition, 19 participants from different schools in India from Andhra and Delhi attended the event providing poster presentations on their projects on Biodiversity, climate change, water harvesting and wetlands.  This year marks the first research competition in which entries included the following:



Research Title


Education Level

Research Presented in Oral Session

Best Research Award

Increasing Chainath 1 Rice Cultivar Yield Through Enrichment of Soil Nitrogen With Mosquito Fern in Don Sub-district, Pakthongchai District, Nakhonratchasima Province

Chatukham Witthayakhom, Nakhonratchasima Province


First Runner-up

Effects of flooding management on soil reaction, soil nutrients and diversity of pests in Chinese cabbage plantation in Donklang sub-district, DamnoenSaduak District, Ratchaburi Province, Thailand.

Triamudom Suksa Pattanakarn Don Klang, Ratchaburi Province

Lower secondary

Second Runner-up

Aedes mosquito larvae and dengue incidences related with climate changes at Triamudomsuksa school.

Triamudom Suksa, Bangkok

Upper secondary

Honorable Mention

Effects of Human Activities on the Diversity of Phytoplankton in Mun River, Tha-toom Municipal Area, Surin Province, Thailand.

Tha Toom Pracha Sermwit, Surin Province

Lower secondary

Honorable Mention

Comparative Study of Soil Property and Weather of Ban Du Village and Jim Thompson Farm, Pakthongchai District, Nakhonratchasima Province, to Assess Suitability for Mulberry Growing

Ban Du (Saharat Witthaya), Pakthongchai District, Nakhonratchasima Province

Lower secondary

Research Presented in Poster Session


Lichens' Biodiversity and Bioindication of Air Quality in Dry Dipterocarp Forest

Don Chan Witthayakhom, Don Chan District, Kalasin Province

Lower secondary

GLOBE Thailand has also organized enrichment activities for schools that include integrating learning into sufficiency economy and origami and science and mathematics instructional materials. The activities that took place at the Asia+Pacific Regional Meeting and student research symposium provide an excellent example of cohesive leadership between countries that benefits the education and level of engagement amongst GLOBE students nationally and regionally.

Read about recent activities in the Asia+Pacific region:

Read GLOBE Stars about past Asia+Pacific regional meetings: