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GISN & STEM Professional's Blog

The GLOBE International STEM Network (GISN) and STEM Professional's Blog is an online collaborative effort where scientists associated with GLOBE post their thoughts, comments, and philosophies about a variety of science topics.

GLOBE strongly encourages positive and productive discussions to further advance the scientific understanding of all involved with The GLOBE Program.


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Nitrogen is an important molecule that makes up nearly 78 percent of the atmosphere.  Burning fossil fuels and using fertilizers for agriculture are two ways that this number can increase.  But the atmosphere isn’t the only place that nitrogen is found – it is also found in bodies of water.  Of the nitrogen that is spread in fertilizers, only 25-30 percent is absorbed by plants, so that leaves a lot of nitrogen left to either be absorbed by the atmosphere or into water.  Figure 1 shows the intricacies of the nitrogen cycle, from Physical’s Fundamentals ...

Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: CLIMATE CHANGE CLIMATE   Investigation Areas: HYDROSPHERE NITRATES

Sometimes in a rapidly changing world, it is difficult to see the effects that small changes in human lifestyle can have on not only climate, but on ecosystems.  Various countries and international organizations are working to pass legislation to ensure change.  One such case of legislation working is being observed in the San Francisco Bay – the return of harbor porpoises.  This was recently reported in the  QUEST biology blog . The map below shows the location of the San Francisco Bay, marked by the bubble with an A, from Google.  In 1972, ...


Late last week, Pacific Ocean visitors near San Diego, California, USA were able to see an amazing sight that doesn’t happen very often… glowing waves! So what exactly is the process that causes the glowing waves? Algae!  This particular type of algae, Lingulodinium polyedrum , began blooming in late August.  During the day, the waters off the coast of California turn a brownish-red color, according to The University of California – San Diego scientists.  Take a look at what this microorganism looks like under a microscope: Image from The Smithsonian ...

Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: BACKYARD SCIENCE   Investigation Areas: HYDROSPHERE