October 2015 GLOBE News Brief

 "We have made it to the Summit."

Images of the Week!

On the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

On 30 September, members of the 2015 GLOBE Africa Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition (a joint project between The GLOBE Program, Colorado's St. Vrain Valley School District, and Discovery Education) successfully made it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro - peaking out through the clouds at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level.

GIO Director, Tony Murphy, taking water temperature in a stream.

GIO Director, Tony Murphy, taking water temperature in a stream near Baranco camp on the journey to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. (The water temperature was 5C.) Read more about Tony's trekking and scientific adventures

Join us on Thursday, 8 October (11 a.m. MDT), for the Mount Kilimanjaro Virtual Field Trip - where students can travel to the far side of the world without leaving their classroom! Register now! (Use this time conversion tool to find the time in your part of the world.)


GLOBE Hosts New Data Entry Challenge 11-17 October

GLOBE 20th anniversary logo - Data Entry Challenge

GLOBE is hosting a new Data Entry Challenge from 11-17 October 2015 (in conjunction with Earth Science Week)! Whether you report new data or old, GIO will recognize schools entering the most data during this week.

The data you collect helps to tell a story of the environmental conditions at a moment in time. Data are as important now as they were on the day you collected them. So, if you have existing data that you have not yet entered into the GLOBE database, please join this worldwide effort to enter those data now. If your data collection is up-to-date, then now is the time to collect and enter more data, either online or through the GLOBE data entry mobile app.

GIO is calling on you to dig in even deeper and continue to make your data count! With your help, it all adds up!

GLOBE Announces Timeline and Rubrics for 2016 GLOBE International Virtual Science Fair

A young girl working on a computer with images flying off the computer screen.

GLOBE students - it's time for you to show the world what you are learning as part of your experiential, hands-on journey through GLOBE's science practices and protocols. The GLOBE Program is pleased to announce the 2016 GLOBE International Virtual Science Fair for students around the world.

The 2016 GLOBE International Virtual Science Fair takes place online, and students from any GLOBE country may participate. This is your opportunity to use the GLOBE data that you've entered into the database and to collaborate with scientists of the GLOBE International Scientists' Network (GISN).

Every project that is submitted will be hosted on the Student Research Reports section and qualified entries will be entered for a chance to receive a stipend to help offset the cost of attending the 2016 GLOBE Annual Meeting. There is no limit to the number of entries per student or per school. For details on the timeline, rubrics, and resources, read more here.

If you have any questions, please email help@globe.gov

NASA SMAP Campaign for GLOBE Students Has Begun!

Students gathered around an instrument collecting data.

In order to support NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission, launched on 31 January 2015, the GLOBE Program has initiated a 7-month-long soil moisture measurement campaign - and invites GLOBE schools to participate. The SMAP Campaign began 1 October 2015 and will be ongoing through 30 April 2016.

During the campaign, students will collect soil moisture data following the GLOBE SMAP Block Pattern Soil Moisture (Volumetric) Protocol, and will enter these data into the GLOBE science database.

The SMAP team will provide feedback to schools that enter 15 or more measurements to the GLOBE database. The SMAP team will have monthly webinars, which began 17 September 2015, highlighting schools and countries collecting soil moisture data following the SMAP protocol.

NASA Offers Visualization Tools Using GPM Data

GPM logo

At the core of scientific visualization is the representation of data graphically - through images, animations, and videos - to improve understanding and develop insight. Visualizations allow us to explore data, phenomena and behavior; they are particularly effective for showing large scales of time and space, and "invisible" processes (e.g. flows of energy and matter) as integral parts of the models.

Precipitation data from the GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) and TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) missions is made available free to the public in a variety of formats from several sources at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA offers a tutorial that will guide viewers through the process of making visualizations using GPM data. NASA also offers user-friendly information regarding downloading and processing GPM data. This information outlines the different types of data available, the levels of processing, the sources to download the data, and some helpful tips for utilizing precipitation data in research.

GLOBE International Scientists' Network Member Highlight

Dr. Christy Wall

Dr. Christy Wall is the Director of Science Research and Education at the New Mexico Wildlife Center in Espanola, New Mexico. Christy completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma, where she fell in love with mountain meteorology.

Christy has a Master's and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Some of her work included using a number of satellites, including TRMM, GPM, and the A-Train (including CloudSat), to examine the effects of aerosols on convection all over the world. She is interested in aerosols and their effect on climate, since it's so uncertain.

During her time in Salt Lake, Christy was award a GK-12 Fellowship and became very involved in outreach. She taught science for 4th and 6th grade classes at a local elementary school and participated in many outreach events, like classroom visits and science fairs. "Many of the most important issues facing our society today, such as climate change, are centered around the environment. To inspire our students to care about the environment, we must get them outside. If we can get our students outside, engaged, having fun, AND learning science, we can truly make a difference!" said Christy about science and education. To meet members of the GLOBE International Scientists' Network, click here.

Opportunities for Students

Committee on World Food Security Hosts Special Youth Event 15 October in Rome

Photo of 2 women harvesting a green plant.

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is hosting a special event on 15 October in Rome, Italy (Plenary Hall, FAO Headquarters) - Developing the Knowledge, Skills, and Talent of Youth. The objective of the event is the exchange of ideas among a diverse range of stakeholders to enhance capacity, knowledge, and skills development of youth in the agriculture sector, with the ultimate aim of contributing to food security and nutrition.

In order to ensure that this event is full of the voices of youth, and that youth play a role in identifying their most urgent challenges and key priorities, CSF is calling for youth to attend this event. Limited seating is available, so register today!

Young Professionals for Agricultural Development Lists Funding Opportunities

YPARD logoYoung Professional for Agricultural Development (YPARD) has created a list of available funding opportunities.YPARD is an international movement BY Young Professionals FOR Young Professionals for Agricultural Development.

The vision of this global on-line and off-line communication and discussion platform is "sustainably improved livelihoods worldwide, where young professionals are proactively contributing to innovative agricultural development." Their mission is to "serve as a global collective platform through which young professionals can realise their full potential and contribute proactively towards innovative agricultural development."

Opportunities for Teachers

Free NASA STEM Educator Webinars

NASA meatball logo

The NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC) is presenting a series of no-cost webinars  open to all educators. All pre-service, K-12, and informal educators, as well as university faculty, are invited to join NASA education specialists to learn about NASA missions, activities, lesson plans, educator guides, and online resources that integrate NASA and STEM into the classroom.

An upcoming webinar, "Earth Right Now: Review Wavelength Digital Library of STEM Resources" is geared toward educators in grade levels 4 through 10. Through this webinar, which is presented by Susan Kohler (at 6:00 p.m. ET on 19 October 2015), participants will get an overview of the online catalog of NASA Earth and space science resources.

Connect With Us

The GLOBE Program depends on you to let us know what is happening in your regions, countries, communities and classrooms. Send us news you would like to share with the GLOBE Community and we'll include it in next month's News Brief. Be sure to include photos, too.

Send your message to communications@globe.gov

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EXTENDED DEADLINE: Teacher Questionnaire

Graphic showing a checkmark on a form.

The deadline for responding to the Teacher Questionnaire has been extended to 15 October! GIO and the Evaluation Working Group are interested in learning about your successes, as well as your challenges, with implementing GLOBE; the outcomes you measure (or would like to be able to measure) to assess the value of GLOBE in your classrooms; and your current level of support (or further support needed) to implement GLOBE.

The questionnaire will help us make improvements to the Program through the creation of new tools and resources that will help assure successful implementation and best possible outcomes.

Click here to access the questionnaire.

Tech Update

Photo of an Update button on a computer keyboard.

A lot of work has been going on "behind the scenes" preparing for a major upgrade to the GLOBE website and supporting systems. Most of the work will have minimal impact on GLOBE users while we upgrade the software that runs GLOBE to the latest available versions.

We expect the visualization system will run faster and be able to support more users. The main website should also run faster, and will be fully accessible on phone and tablet devices. There will be some small changes for users of the administration area (the "Control Panel"), but we expect the transition to be very straightforward.

In addition to the system upgrades, we're working on a number of new features and capabilities. A new "advanced data search" will allow users to find data without using the map interface (i.e.: "Find me all temperature data in these countries during these dates."). We know that a number of scientists and advanced users have been asking for this ability.

We are also working with NASA to integrate NASA satellite data into the GLOBE visualization system. A new protocol is being designed into the system (announcement to come), and a new protocol specific app is being built for delivery in October (more to come on that too!). All in all busy times!

Upstream Alliance Sea Kayaking Expedition Uses GLOBE Protocols

Map of the Delmarva Peninsula

On 9 September 2015, members of the Upstream Alliance research
embarked on an 800-km (500 mile), 30-day sea kayak expedition circumnavigating the Delmarva Peninsula, a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States. Upstream Alliance was founded in 2015 to cultivate, educate, and advance the next generation of leaders for environmental stewardship.

Upstream Alliance expedition members collected and reported authentic data on the waters surrounding the peninsula for students to use in analysis, research, and understanding of key issues in and around the watershed. This was accomplished by collecting GLOBE hydrosphere measurements along with other measurements, such as juvenile fish and aquatic grass surveys. GLOBE measurements were taken following protocols for determining water temperature, pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity along with clouds and contrails.

Through the GLOBE and Upstream websites, all data will be shared with classrooms across the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the world. Upstream Alliance staff will work with teachers to incorporate this adventure of discovery into their teaching.

GLOBE Publications

A GLOBE logo

GLOBE has a long history of sharing impact and science findings through peer-reviewed publications. The first publication, which explored the idea of the program, was published in 1993, before GLOBE's official beginning. Since that time, the use of GLOBE data has been published in many peer-reviewed journals and as scholarly works (such as dissertations). Reading through these publications can provide important background for classroom projects, as well as methods for using GLOBE in the classroom.

Click here to explore journal articles about GLOBE from 2015. Have you published a new journal article about your GLOBE involvement this year? Send it to  help@globe.gov so we can add it to our page!

National Wildlife Foundation's Eco Schools USA Issues Green STEM Report

Two young grils looking at plants.

The National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools USA program (a GLOBE Program partner) has issued a new report on the relationship between environmental education, green schools, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

The "Green STEM" report was prepared by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) education staff, with the help of a NYC Green STEM advisory board of educators.

In 2008, NWF became the U.S. host for the international Eco-Schools program. Founded by the Foundation for Environmental Education, Eco-Schools has emerged as the largest green schools program in the world. GLOBE and Eco-Schools are developing a collaborative plan for member schools, which will help strengthen earth science education in schools.  

NMSF Accepting Pre-proposals for Hollings Grants Program

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation logo

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) is accepting pre-proposals for its 2015 Hollings Grants program. Pre-proposals are due 22 October 2015.

Hollings Grants are one way NMSF seeks to amplify the resources of National Marine Sanctuaries, by providing funding that supports partnerships with the 14 sites in America's National Marine Sanctuary System, linking the public to sanctuaries through public engagement activities focused on ocean and Great Lakes conservation.

Information on this grants program will be provided at a webinar  entitled "Introduction to NMSF's Hollings Grants," which will be hosted by NMSF on Wednesday, 7 October, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT. 

Upcoming 2015 GLOBE Teacher Training Workshops

Map of Earth showing locations of webinars.

Upcoming GLOBE teacher training workshops include:

  • Reading, Pennsylvania, USA (The Nature Place; formerly Environmental Exploration Center at Angelica Park): 12 October (open to all teachers)
  • Wayne, Michigan, USA (Wayne RESA): 15 October - 11 November (open to all teachers)
  • Pierre, South Dakota, USA (South Dakota Discovery Center): 24-25 October (open to all teachers)
  • Cologne, Germany (University of Cologne): 07 November (potential restricted attendance)
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA (University of Arkansas STEM Center): 14 November (open to all teachers)
  • Cologne, Germany (University of Cologne): 21 November (potential restricted attendance)


Congratulations to the 10 GLOBE countries celebrating anniversaries of successful GLOBE implementation during the month of October:

Luxembourg - 19 years
10 October 1996

Marshall Islands - 19 years
17 October 1996

Portugal - 19 years
23 October 1996

Jordan - 19 years
31 October 1996

Namibia - 18 years
08 October 1997

Colombia - 17 years
28 October 1998

Bangladesh - 15 years
04 October 2000

Paraguay - 15 years
27 October 2000

Lithuania - 13 years
03 October 2002

Serbia and Montenegro - 13 years
17 October 2002

News Brief Archive

Archive logo

Past issues of the GLOBE News Brief and letters from Dr. Tony Murphy to the GLOBE community can be found in the online archive.