Community Blogs
 

Included below is a feed of the latest blog posts created by the GLOBE Community. To view a tutorial on how you can create a blog click here 



The radar measurements made by NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory are sensitive to whether land surfaces are frozen or thawed. As liquid water freezes in soil, the water molecules become bound in a crystalline lattice, which changes how the incoming radar energy from SMAP interacts with Earth's surface, compared to soil containing freely oriented liquid water molecules. Read more HERE!


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"With its antenna now spinning at full speed, NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully re-tested its science instruments and generated its first global maps, a key step to beginning routine science operations next month." Read more HERE ! Brian


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Hello reader! My name is George Duffy! I am a graduate student from the University of Urbana Champaign, and I am excited to begin sharing my experience as a GPM graduate researcher of with you. My research focuses on snow, or more specifically, snowfall retrieval. Technically, the GPM satellite doesn't measure precipitation, it measures radar echoes from its Dual Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) and radiation from it's General Microwave Imager (GMI). It's up to us to develop algorithms that can retrieve precipitation information from these radar images. It's...


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The term “won in a landslide” is particularly troubling to me because when a landslide happens, the kind that I study at least, there are seldom “winners”. My research looks at how rainfall interacts with the environment to cause natural disasters like flooding and landslides. Knowing where, when and how much rain or snow is falling is key to understanding where we may have extreme events that can impact people. If you consider where we get a lot of rainfall, like some of our tropical regions… ...and combine that with areas that have the right factors to cause a landslide, such...


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So, now that we have a satellite in space called SMAP, why is the data from the spacecraft so important? SMAP will help: Monitor Drought Predict Floods Assist Crop Productivity Improve Weather Forecasting Linking Water, Energy, and Carbon Cycles Read more HERE


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To find our where the SMAP spacecraft is, at any time in relation to my school, you can check on the S MAP Orbit Calculator Tool ! As you might have noticed in the SMAP Block Pattern Soil Moisture Protocol document, we recommend that measurements be taken and collected around 9:00am local time.  This is due to the SMAP spacecraft's 6am and 6pm local time equator crossings.  In order to have optimal SMAP comparison/validation data, it is vital to take your measurements as close to the 9am local time as possible. Any questions, please contact me at Brian.A.Campbell@nasa.gov ...


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Hi, my name is Anna Wilson. I moved to Asheville, NC in the summer of 2004, just before several floods caused by tropical storms left me without power for more than a week. This spurred my previously casual interest in the weather to become an obsession that eventually prompted me to go back to school. Here I am with a PARSIVEL disdrometer (an instrument that measures the size and velocity of particles that pass through its sampling area), after I completed my bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science and started working towards my PhD in Environmental Engineering: (photo credit:...


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Hi Everyone, This past week and a half has been rather quiet as we performed two orbital maneuvers. The first maneuver placed the spacecraft at an altitude closer to its final orbit. The second one slightly adjusted the inclination of the orbit to ensure that SMAP goes over the equator at approximately 6:00 am and 6:00 pm every day, which are the ideal times to obtain our science measurements. For those of you wondering how SMAP maneuvers around, the spacecraft contains a single pressurized propellant tank carrying 81 kilograms (179 pounds) of hydrazine. The spacecraft adjusts...


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As you know, SMAP will be giving us unprecedented soil moisture data from around the Earth. But, did you know that SMAP is also looking at frozen soil?  Check out the article link below to learn more about this measurement and how it aligns to our better understanding of our ecosystem and climate change. "Let It Go! SMAP Almost Ready to Map Frozen Soil" SMAPtastic, Brian


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Hey All, We just finished up a two-day GLOBE Train-the-Trainer Workshop at the GEMS World Academy in Chicago, Illinois. Trainers from across the USA came to learn about several NASA Earth Science Missions and their affiliation with GLOBE and associated protocols.  Those missions are Cloud Satellite (Cloudsat), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), and Landsat. On the SMAP side of things, we had a bit of a tough time digging out soil samples for the SMAP Block Pattern Soil Moisture Protocol due to snow/ice cover and partially frozen soil*. ...


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Hi Everyone, This past week has been smooth sailing as we tested both of our instruments, the radar and the radiometer. The radar’s high power transmitter was turned on as the spacecraft was flying over the North Atlantic and then over Greenland. The telemetry data looked great and the signals received clearly showed the transition from ocean to land (yay!). There were some biases with the data that still need to be worked out, however everything is working and we will have a better sense of the quality of the radar data once the antenna starts spinning. During this past week we also...


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Fresh off the recent successful deployment of its 20-foot (6-meter) reflector antenna and associated boom arm, NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully completed a two-day test of its science instruments. The observatory's radar and radiometer instruments were successfully operated for the first time with SMAP's antenna in a non-spinning mode on Feb. 27 and 28. The test was a key step in preparation for the planned spin-up of SMAP's antenna to approximately 15 revolutions per minute in late March. The spin-up will be performed in a two-step process...


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WOW! If you are not amazed by this GPM Data Visualization loop, you should be! ( www.youtube.com/embed/ILNC7IdyWVU?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 ) Earth SySTEM is an approach to STEM Education that utilizes the current and future technological infrastructure of satellite imagery, remote sensing, and computer visualizations, and data archives in the study of Earth as a System .   So the question becomes, besides being pretty pictures, what else can students do with these types of satellite images, remote sensing and computer visualizations? There are many...


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Hi Everyone, The major milestone this past week was the deployment of the reflector antenna/boom assembly (RBA), which refers to a 5-meter (~16 foot) long boom that holds a 6-meter (~20 foot) diameter antenna at the end of it. For launch the RBA was folded against the spacecraft to fit within the launch vehicle fairing. The boom and antenna together weigh 58 kilograms (127 pounds). Yes, super light for something that size. The boom is a carbon composite structure, made of multiple layers of carbon fiber cloth that are impregnated with a special resin, then baked to create a...


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Last Friday, February 27th, was the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission Core Observatory, and coinciding with that event, released its first global map of rainfall and snowfall, covering the period from April 2014 to September 2014. The data map combines measurements from 12 satellites and the GPM Core Observatory, which serves to unify the data from all the satellites, like the lead violin in an orchestra tuning the rest of the instruments.  The result is NASA's Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM data product, called IMERG,...


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Hi Everyone, A lot has happened since my last posting. The mission operations team has been hard at work testing the spacecraft and learning its intricacies. Having a new satellite in space is like driving a new car, it takes a little while to learn how it behaves and reacts. This past week we’ve been testing subsystems and making sure that temperatures and voltages are within range. Also, we have transitioned the spacecraft to point directly at the ground (nadir). While not everything has behaved as expected, the team has addressed some minor yet unexpected issues quickly and is...


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WOW, WOW, WOW! Early Saturday morning, January 31, 2015, everything was a GO for the SMAP launch except the high altitude winds were too strong to proceed. Everyone was on edge and ten minutes before the scheduled launch time things turned for the better. The wind situation was deemed “green” and it was safe to continue. Whew! The launch itself was an exhilarating experience. As the countdown reached the final two seconds there was a sudden boom, followed by a bright yellow/orange glow and a white cloud that mushroomed to the sides of the rocket. SMAP soared into the sky much faster...


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I was born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  If you’re unfamiliar with this extreme northern region of Michigan, it is meteorologically famous for its snow.  Lots of snow.  Insane amounts of snow.  Sled-from-your rooftop piles of snow (see below image). Driving a car in this winter wonderland is difficult since pavement is merely a rumor on most streets from November through April.   While snow provides many anxious driving moments, it is also cherished for creating breathtaking winter landscapes and for providing a wide variety of winter outdoor...


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Chances are that if you are reading this blog you are interested in bringing the exciting world of satellites and remote sensing into your classroom. Over the past five decades NASA and NOAA have archived satellite imagery and datasets and there is high interest in educators using these resources from both agencies. However, the challenge to the precollege community over the years has been one of both acquiring the technical skills to retrieve such imagery and data, and having the computer power to acquire and store such large files. The good news is that while aerospace engineers and...


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We're just over two weeks in to the campaign, and I wanted to give a shout out to those schools who have so far entered data. Some of them are entering data from multiple sites at their school to have so many data points in two weeks. Keep up the good work, and more updates coming soon! School Name City State/Country Data Entries February 1st through 15th Sumarska i drvodjeljska skola Karlovac Croatia 29 Lourdes Public Charter School Scio Oregon, USA 20 OS Banija Karlovac Croatia ...


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The SMAP team would like to give a shout out to the schools in Trinidad and Tobago, Croatia, and Oman that have already started taking measurements with the SMAP Block Pattern Soil Moisture Protocol . We are excited to compare GLOBE student data to the SMAP spacecraft data, once the spacecraft starts taking soil moisture. The SMAP spacecraft is currently working on the phase when we raise the antenna boom and unfurl the collecting dish. Thank you and keep the soil moisture data coming! Brian


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Hi Everyone, The Thursday before the launch of SMAP was a day of much anticipation and excitement. We were ready to go, but high upper winds caused the cancellation of the launch four minutes before lift-off.  You might be wondering how we monitor wind conditions at high altitudes (in this case, thirty four thousand feet). We do it by sending up weather balloons ahead of time to make these measurements where the rocket will be flying. The last balloon data came down just minutes before launch indicating that the winds exceeded conditions for a safe launch. Afterwards, inspections...


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The Palmyra Cove Nature Park is a 250 acre open space in New Jersey. The park is located on the Delaware River about 7 miles north of Philadelphia, PA. You can check the site out by using Google Earth … (40 N, 75 W). There are various land cover types, resulting in varying ecosystems within the park. There is a tidal cove (with wetlands), forest, river/beach, and an Army Corps of Engineers dredge cell. The South Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania/Delaware region, known as the Delaware Valley, is an interesting and often tricky forecast region, even for the National weather Service (NWS). It...


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Hi Everyone, My name is Erika Podest, and I am a scientist at JPL working on the SMAP mission. I’ll be writing about SMAP’s debut into space and providing updates during this exciting time. Welcome to my first post! As a child growing up in tropical Panama and enjoying its exuberant nature, I always had a love for the environment. I went from playing in nature to studying it, and focused my research on the use of satellites to study Earth. As a doctoral candidate, I did part of my research as an intern at JPL, and this opportunity led me to ultimately become a scientist at JPL. As...


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Weather fascinates people and it is something we talk about every day.  It is interesting to note that we mostly complain about the weather: too cold, too hot, too wet.  For some reason, we do not acknowledge the weather when there is a sunny and comfortable day to do outdoor activities.  We get quickly disappointed if the weather does not meet the forecast, especially if the forecast was sunny but precipitation falls from the sky.  First, what is precipitation? Precipitation is defined as any product of condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under...


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So, what if I told you that the water you drink today is the same water dinosaurs drank over one hundred million years ago? Yep, the same amount of water has been circulating the globe in what we call “The Hydrologic Cycle” (also known as the Water Cycle). But don’t worry, you will not catch some dinosaur-disease by drinking it. Water in the Hydrologic Cycle has the ability to evaporate from the land and ocean surfaces and travel large distances as water vapor, only to fall down on the ground as precipitation (rain and snow). The same water later travels on the surface as streams and...


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Introduction: The Global Precipitation Measurement Mission and GLOBE Student Field Campaign by Kristen Weaver, GPM Education Specialist My original topic for this introductory blog was going to be how to participate in the field campaign, but those details are well covered in the " How to Participate " section. For any technical questions, the GLOBE Support Team is always helpful, or for other questions about the campaign you can get in touch with me and/or the rest of the GPM Education Team here . So that taken care of, the question becomes: Why should you contribute...


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There have been 28 schools that have entered data associated with the GLOBE Surface Temperature Field Campaign for a total of 782 observations. The number of observations for a school is in parenthesis. Al-Fath Secondary School at Abha, Saudi Arabia Brazil High School, Tinidad and Tobago (18) – Thank you Mr. Ali Camanche Elementary School, Iowa, USA Chartiers-Housgon Jr./Sr. High School, Pennsylvania, USA (8)– Thanks Gary Chia-Yi Girls Senior High School, Taiwan (9) Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies, Illinois, USA, 8 different sites (41) Feng-Shan Senior High...


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My passion towards Global Precipitation Measurement Mission started when I visited GPM Clean Room at Goddard Space Flight Centre in August 2013 during 18 th GLOBE Annual Partner Meeting in Maryland, United States. Having received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through University of Toledo, Ohio to participate in the event gave me reasons to maximize the opportunity. As a scientist from Nigerian Space Agency, this opportunity gave a rare privilege to contribute to the development of Environmental Education (EE) in my resource-constrained country and the world at large. ...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: GPM

Hi GLOBE surface temperature enthusiasts. The first week of the GLOBE Surface Temperature campaign (plus a couple days) is over. I took at look through all of the data that has been submitted so far. The field campaign looks to be a great success again. I greatly appreciate all of your hard work. 17 schools have entered data so far from 4 countries.   The number of observations for a school is in parenthesis. Sekundarschule Uzwil, Switzerland (2) – Thanks Markus Shazar Intermediate School, Israel (12) Al-Fath Secondary School at Abha, Saudi Arabia (2) Princeton...


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Citizen science is scientific research conducted by amateur or nonprofessional scientists. Formally, citizen science has been defined as "the systematic collection and analysis of data; development of technology; testing of hypotheses; and the dissemination of the resulting information by researchers on a primarily avocational basis. When students do science, it is citizen science. This is true when students take measurements and report their data or analyze data taken by themselves and others. It is particularly true when they complete research projects by reaching evidence-base...


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GLOBE Surface Temperature Field Campaign December 1 to December 31, 2014 The GLOBE Program will host the annual surface temperature field campaign from December 1 to December 31, 2014.  This is a great opportunity to work as a community with schools around the world on a common research project. Students have used the surface temperature field campaign data to do research projects. And, one of my graduate students has been looking at the data and found that a strong warming due to urban areas is observable in the student data. It is my hope that continued expansion of the...


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In the early 1980’s, I chaired a group of scientists exploring the idea of a comprehensive satellite mission to study all aspects of the global environment. The group was diverse with expertise covering the range of Earth science disciplines from geology, ecology, oceanography, limnology, glaciology, and atmospheric science and their various sub-disciplines.  Their first recommendation was take today’s data today. In all of Earth science there is the recognition that we have only one Earth to study. How Earth works is revealed by watching it change in a comprehensive manner and...


Posted in: Primary Audience: Students Teachers

It's great to be in India and see all the work everyone's been doing! I love hearing all the different languages and seeing the students interact. Congratulations to everyone!


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A version of this blog was originally posted on November 14, 2012 .  If you have been listening to the news or following along with weather and climate web pages, you have probably heard the term "ENSO."  ENSO, or El Niño-Southern Oscillation, is a quasi-periodic climate pattern that occurs in the tropical Pacific Ocean.  When the conditions change, the atmosphere responds in many different ways.  In certain locations, it is cloudier and it rains more, while in others it’s clear and dry.  Scientists are forecasting El Niño conditions to start...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Investigation Areas: Atmosphere

We had an incredible turn out at our (the GLOBE) table at the NOAA booth at the NSTA conference. It was great to meet so many teachers and curriculum directors with an interest in GLOBE. Thanks to everybody who took the time to stop by and learn about GLOBE. For those people who did not get the Earth System Science Poster , we are very sorry. Please follow this link to get the PDF files so that you can print out the pages to use in your classroom. The page also has a complete poster that can be projected or printed, and the activities guide. Expanding on the ESS poster...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Meetings/Conferences General News Topics: Training Primary Audience: Partners Teachers

Beste mensen, Het effect van de uitzonderlijk zachte winter op de natuur is ook bij de media niet onopgemerkt gebleven. In de uitzending van het KRO programma Brandpunt op zondag 16 maart komt het onderwerp aan bod. Zie http://gemi.st/KN_1656575 . Het item begint op 23:20. Verder zat ik op zondag 9 maart in het programma Jinek op Zondag. Dit is terug te zien op http://gemi.st/KN_1656819 . Tenslotte zat ik op woensdag 19 maart in het EO-programma 'Melk en Honing'. De uitzending is terug te bekijken op  http://gemi.st/EO_101212300 . Vriendelijke groeten, Arnold


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change Learning Activities: Land Cover/Biology Primary Audience: Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Beste GLOBE leerlingen in Nederland, Jullie kunnen mij allemaal helpen de natuur te onderzoeken.  Groet, Arnold


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Now that the new year is upon us, we can take a look at the GLOBE Surface Temperature field campaign from December 2013. I think it went very well. Tens of schools and thousands of students participated. Valuable data was collected that students can use to create research projects. Here are the schools that have entered data so far. David Wooster Middle School, Connecticut Bellefontaine High School, Ohio – Hi Dennis Birchwood School, Ohio – Hi Linda Main Street Intermediate School, Ohio – Hi Marcy Archbold Middle School, Ohio The University of Toledo, Ohio – These are...


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This week we welcome long-time friend of GLOBE, Dr. Peggy LeMone, Chief Scientist for the GLOBE Program from 2003-2009, as our guest blogger. Dr. LeMone is currently working in the field of weather and cloud formation at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Originally posted at http://spark.ucar.edu/blog/measuring-rainfall on September 23, 2013. Dr. Peggy LeMone, Credit: UCAR Dr. Peggy LeMone is an NCAR Senior Scientist who studies weather and cloud formation. For more information about her research, visit Peggy's home page . A...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Precipitation

This week’s blog post comes to us from Dr. Janis Steele and Dr. Brooks McCutchen. Drs. Steele and McCutchen, along with their three sons, have been aboard Research Vessel Llyr since April 24, 2013. Read about their adventure in the Intertropical Convergence Zone here . When people think of life in the seas, it is often the majestic that comes to mind, such aswhales, sharks, rays and coral reefs, or our own sustenance in the form of the fish that feed billions of us around the world.  Rarely do we think of plankton, the tiny organisms found across the world's oceans. Plankton are...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Earth as a System Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/07/03/the-czech-republic-celebrates-globe-through-globe-games/ This week’s blog post is written in coordination between Jessica Mackaro and Dana Votapkova, former Country Coordinator for the Czech Republic. Ms. Votapkova is the project manager and GLOBE consultant for the TEREZA Association, a non-governmental organization for environmental education in the Czech Republic and is a regional help desk officer for the Europe and Eurasia region. The idea of GLOBE Games  was...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Meetings/Conferences

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/06/26/north-america-and-hurricane-vulnerability-a-project-to-improve-forecasts/ The month of June brings with it hurricane season in the North Atlantic Ocean basin. Both countries in GLOBE’s North America Region, Canada and the United States, are affected by these storms.  It is important to remember that tropical cyclones are named differently in various locations.  In the Atlantic and east of the International Date Line in the North Pacific, they’re called hurricanes.  In the...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science

Schools in Greece Participate in Earth Observation Day Via Donation from West Virginia University West Virginia University faculty member and GLOBE scientist Dr. Rick Landenberger provided students at five Greek schools with scientific equipment to participate in Earth Observation Day, a STEM (Science, Education, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational event organized by the AmericaView consortium in partnership with the international SATELLITES Program and GLOBE.  The schools included the 6 th Gymnasium of Volos, the 3 rd Lyceum of Aigaleo, the Gymnasium of Tinos, the 1...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/06/19/when-bad-things-happen-to-good-experiments/ The National Aeronautics and Space Administration , NASA, is famous for studying stars and planets and galaxies in outer space.  But did you know it also has excellent programs that study planet Earth?  The GLOBE Program is one of these programs.  And over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to be a part of The Earth Observing System .  More specifically, I work on an experiment called HIRDLS , which...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Scientist Skills

This week’s blog comes to us from Mrs. Wafa Mubarek Bin Dayna, the Country Coordinator for the Kingdom of Bahrain.  In this post she explains a new collaborative project occurring in the Kingdom of Bahrain exploring migratory birds throughout the country.  This project was introduced in the 2011-2012 academic year and will continue for the three academic years following. In the Kingdom of Bahrain, over 290 species of birds have been observed, the majority being passing migrants.  Monitoring migratory birds isn’t always easy, as many migratory birds fly at a great...


Posted in: Investigation Areas: Earth As a System

This week’s post is a continuation from last week , where our guest blogger, Vera Gekov, explored GLOBE and connected it to environmental stewardship.   As part of my Master’s Applied Research Project, I collected stories as richly diverse as the international GLOBE community itself from the question: “What does stewardship mean to you?” Answers ranged from “ taking care of Earth and its natural resources for the benefit of all creatures,” to “managing environmental resources,” and “developing a global consciousness and responsible behavior towards nature.” What impressed me...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/05/29/the-connection-of-science-and-stewardship-part-i-motivation-and-initial-questions/ This week we have a guest blogger, Vera Gekov.  Vera is a recent graduate of the Environmental Leadership program at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, USA.  She was drawn to GLOBE because of the program’s commitment of increasing environmental literacy in youth.  She completed her Applied Leadership Project by connecting with GLOBE teachers and country coordinators to understand...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/05/22/through-the-eyes-of-a-student-nsta-2013/ This week’s guest blogger is Savona O’Brien, a senior at Paw Paw High School, located in rural West Virginia, USA. Savona has been participating in the GLOBE program for two years, and feels it’s a wonderful program that more students, teachers, and schools should participate in.  Through her participation in GLOBE and GLOBE’s From Learning to Research project, Savona was given the opportunity to attend the National Science Teacher’s...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/05/15/the-community-cloud-atlas/ During our time in the Atmospheric Science doctoral program at Colorado State University (CSU), we would take breaks from frustrating programming efforts and run upstairs to the roof of the building to take pictures of clouds. We would identify them by name, describe the conditions in which they were forming, and head back inside to see if we could put them within the context of the radar and satellite imagery. As our collection continued to grow, we...


Posted in: Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Atmosphere » Clouds