GLOBE Learning Expedition 2018 Ireland

Wow....what an experience the 2018 GLOBE Learning Expedition (GLE) in Killarney was!  GLOBE meetings are always intense and GLEs are even more so.  Such was the case at my first GLE in India in 2014 and 2018 in Ireland proved no exception.  However, this particular GLE was very special to me on many levels.  This was the second GLE that I attended and marked over 5 years in my time as director of the GLOBE Office at UCAR.  However, and more important, the location was my home town, and the Killarney National Park that was the backdrop for the GLE and that we used as the locations for the field sites had been my 'backyard' while I was growing up.  It helped give me a practical foundation and knowledge of the natural environment and I spent many hours exploring the park, walking and biking its trails and visiting the numerous monuments within the park.  We were truly blessed with the weather at the GLE.  Ireland was experiencing its longest settled pattern of weather in over a decade and that pattern was high temperatures and dry conditions.  (Remember this when you visit next time!!)

I was so proud of how Killarney helped us make this a wonderful experience, from the Gleneagle Hotel and the INEC, to the Chamber of Commerce arranging discounts in stores, to the Killarney National Park giving us free access to the museums and Ross Castle in the national park, and having the rangers help us on the field days, to the Killarney Garda (Police) help us with the wonderful parade led by the Gleneagle Marching Band and rolling of an inflatable globe through the town itself, to the Torc Dancers for the entertainment on Thursday night and to the local media for highlighting us during the week.  Participants continually told me how hospitable everyone they met was...this made me so proud and made me realize that we made the right decision in holding the meeting in my home town and 'backyard.'   

On a national level, I was also so happy that GLOBE Ireland received support from Failte Ireland, the Department of the Environment and especially the Irish Environmental Protection Agency, whose financial support allowed each of us to walk away with the Parklight book, full of incredible imagery of the Killarney National Park.

Finally, thanks to all of you for traveling to this special place...and sharing so much of your cultures and traditions and fun with everyone!  That's one of the aspects that makes out meetings stand out and be different...our community and how it shares. 

I hope you leave Killarney and the GLE with special memories, both visual and in your minds, as well as wonderful stories of friendship, both new and renewed.  And perhaps other stories as well....you all know that storytelling was a theme of the meeting, with All Good Tales (funded by YLACES) helping to facilitate some student stories in the form of videos.  I hope you have all watched the recap video shown on Thursday night that have been sent to you all and is available on GLOBE's YouTube channel.  This wonderful video captures the spirit of the meeting......and now its your turn!!  I would invite each one of you to share your stories or comments about the GLE in Killarney Ireland.  Please add them here and share with us your own sense of place of Killarney and the GLE!  Thank you all so much for making this a memorable experience!

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I would like to thank Tony for sharing his wonderful "backyard" with all of us! This was my first experience of a GLE, and it was a very special one. I came away with many new friends and a wonderful sense of the peaceful (sunny!) place that is Killarney National Park. And how much fun was it to be in a parade through town?! (Which I got to do twice in one week thanks to Killarney's 4th of July celebration.)

Thank you to all for sharing a week of learning and exploration!
Thanks Tony for your words ...
I'm Claudia Romagnoli, from Argentina, it's my second GLE. The first was in 2008 in South Africa and, ten years later, 2018, can attend Ireland!
The experience has been wonderful!
In South Africa I accompanied the students from my schools in Pujato (Santa Fe). In Ireland I had the opportunity to present a paper at the 22nd Annual Meeting and then at the Professional Development sessions at the GLE.
It is very important for me to be able to share and exchange with teachers from the rest of the world and with the GLOBE team, with whom we could organize future collaborative projects.
The kindness of the people of Ireland made me feel at home and that backyard where Tony grew up is beautiful and cozy !!!
I appreciate the wonderful and unforgettable experience GLE 2018!
Thanks Tony for organizing the GLE 2018 in Killarney and share your "back yard" with more than 400 people from 40 countries.
I have been lucky to participate in some GLE and they have always been very intense and interesting.

I really liked the tranquility of Killarney, the kindness of its people and of course I came back with many new friends from all over the world. We also had the opportunity to share the research of my students, the culture and traditions of Argentina with the great global family that is formed in the GLOBE Program, especially in each meeting.

Thank you so much for everything!
This was an amazing experience. All the students coming together. No judgement, no borders, no barriers, no bullying. All good things in the pursuit of science and better standing our environment. This is why we do this.

We always talk about us inspiring the young minds of future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, but I do believe they are the ones who inspire us through their selflessness, dedication, and excitement.
That's the truth.
I have never enjoyed such a big family in my life until Tony made It happened in Killarney. The kind reception my team received from your team and the GLOBE community was highly unbelievably. We were so happy to belong to this family where the young and the old can peacefully coexist, where love and unity reigns supreme. No class barrier.

The experience at Killarney continues to ring a bell in my mind.
Tony your people are so generous and approachable. We received a lot of support from them the day we visited the Town to shop.

One story which keeps ringing is the story about the creation of the lake in the national park. So lovely.
Thank you so much for making this happen in my life for the first time.

Because it was too short a time for Ghana, our presence was not felt much. We couldn't share our culture and the good things in our country with. We hope to have more time to make our presence be felt in community meetings like this.

Long live Tony long live GIO long live GLOBE Community
It was such a great week. It was a special place and a special event.
I had a lot of excellent comments about the GLE. Also, I could participate following Facebook and Instagram.
Congratulations to everyone who had participated in the organization!
Congratulations to teachers and students for the participation. It was really a great effort!
My best wishes to all the GLOBE community.