Scientists: From Personal Story to GLOBE Story

When we observe scientists, sometimes we think that they were born with a lab coat, glasses and knowing everything about the world around them, or at least it was my idea when I was child, but all scientists have been students like you and me when they were children, they attended school, enjoyed some courses and maybe disliked others. How did they decide to become scientists? What was their motivation to pursue a career in science?  and what is the impact of GLOBE in their personal and professional lives?  Let´s read some personal stories from GLOBE scientists.


Waleska Aldana Segura, is from Guatemala, she is a Physicist involved in teacher’s education since 2003 in Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala and Universidad Galileo. Regarding her interest in science from early age, she told us: “I fell in love pretty early in life with science, had the support of my parents who put up with me with every question and every time I wanted to take something apart to know how it worked. I went on to participate in the Physics Olympiads and then to become a Physicist”

How did GLOBE contribute with her career?  - “Right now, I am involved with the sustainable development team at Universidad Galileo. I am teaching students to get data to involve kids and learn about climate, climate change and use data to monitor changes on the surroundings. Also, to involve kids in science projects” 


Professor Mullica Jaroensutasinee from the School of Science in the Walailak University, Thailand made her decision that she would like to be a scientist very early in life (grade 10) and keep working on becoming one since. At this sense, she told us: “Science is my passion.  My research interests are so diverse, but my main focuses are behavioral ecology, coral reef ecology, marine sensor network, mosquito and dengue prediction. I work with many animals e.g. siamese fighting fish, guppy, croaking gouramis, fiddler crabs, Parah tree, reef fishes, and mosquitoes. I got a full scholarship from grade 10 to Ph.D degree as being talented in science from Thai Government”


GLOBE Program is also part of her life, she has been actively involved with the GLOBE program since 2002 as master trainer in hydrology, chair of GLOBE Science Working Group. She has actively contributed as GLOBE scientists mentoring GLOBE schools. In their own words … “I hope that I could inspire a young generation of scientists. GLOBE program is a great way to train our young scientists to do sciences.  It is always my pleasure to help out with GLOBE schools, teachers, and students on protocol training, research questions and data analysis”


Dr. Erika Podest is a scientist in the Earth Science Division at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory located in southern California.  She is originally from Panama, but she has been working at NASA for more than 10 years. Regarding her relationship with science she mentions that  “I am a scientist because I love science, nature and discovering why things work.  My research areas are wetland ecosystems and vegetation in the northern high latitudes and how these ecosystems are impacted by climate change. I use satellite data for my studies”

How is GLOBE related with her job? – “I have been involved with GLOBE for the last 4 years. I love STEM and I think that a great way to learn about our environment is through hands-on activities and exposure to nature. The GLOBE program has opened my eyes to the potential of using citizen science measurements to validate satellite measurements and scientific results. Based on that, I was inspired to become involved in a citizen science soil moisture sensor, which will be ready for public use in 2018”.  


In science, publishing research results is very important, and also very useful the establishing of networks that strengthen problem solving, or the process of answering research questions in a methodic way, through data gathering and that enrichment the results interpretation along the research process. Considering this, GLOBE has created a wonderful network to connect scientists with entire GLOBE community, called The GLOBE International STEM Network (GISN).


All the scientists that told us their personal stories are members of the GISN, an international network of STEM professionals (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) with more than 270 members who work with the GLOBE community around the world to inspire and engage students and teachers in the science process and inform projects about the Earth system.

Why would scientists and other STEM professionals want to participate in GLOBE?

GLOBE is a science and education program that coordinates activities integrated into local and regional communities. It involves 117 countries and over 150 U.S. partners and has tens of thousands of trained teachers who together with their students gather excellent quality scientific data about the environment. GLOBE students from different levels (from elementary to higher education) have contributed over 140 million measurements to the GLOBE database for a period of 23 years. These measurements have been used in inquiry-based Earth science projects and have helped supplement standard research data.

Scientists and STEM professionals can use GLOBE data to complement their studies or support gathering of new data from different parts of the world to propose new science opportunities (Field Campaign! and New Protocols) to their research. GLOBE data also offers a unique opportunity to add an international component to any research project and promote science outreach for any project with international impact. In addition, many scientists and other STEM professionals are also teachers who can benefit from GLOBE material to improve their learning activities.

What are the main duties of the GISN members?

Each relationship between a GISN member and a GLOBE school is unique and is determined between them. GISN members are encouraged to think creatively about how to engage with students. Some ideas are:

  • Mentor students by providing feedback on their GLOBE activities
  • Advise students by sharing with them their own paths to STEM careers;
  • Volunteer to judge science fairs (including GLOBE virtual science symposium);
  • Write blogs for the GLOBE website;
  • Propose and develop GLOBE field campaigns; 
  • Incorporate GLOBE outreach into the broader-impacts portion of their funding proposals
  • Use GLOBE data in their research.
  • Visit GLOBE schools to share with students and teachers, scientific ideas


How to become a GISN member?

A GISN network candidate must reside and/or be employed in a GLOBE country and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Hold a Master's or Ph.D. in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) field
  • Be working toward a Ph.D. in a STEM field
  • Hold a B.S. in a STEM field, plus at least five years experience working in a STEM field
  • Early Career STEM Professionals are a sub-group of the GISN and are upper-level undergraduate or master's students pursuing a degree in a STEM field, or a recent graduate working in a STEM field but have less than five years of professional experience
  • Fill out the form here to join the GISN

Note: Before submitting this form, If you have not done so already, please use the following form to create a GLOBE account:

The form to apply to be part of the GISN request you upload your CV and a short paragraph (250 words) describing how would be your participation into The GLOBE Program. Once the request is received, the CV is reviewed and results about the membership status in the GISN is sent within three business days to you with copy to your country coordinator and your regional office representative.

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