STEM Network Blog Intro

STEM Professionals' Blog


The GLOBE International STEM professionals Network (GISN) 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.

Scientist Blogs Aggregator




Observations of daily precipitation have been a part of GLOBE from the beginning. At the start, GLOBE’s participation model was that schools would take measurement following all of the original 17 protocols. Atmosphere temperature, precipitation, cloud, and soil moisture measurements were to be collected daily at a site easily accessible to the school. A permanent installation of an instrument shelter containing a max/min thermometer mounted to a post along with a rain gauge was the expected norm with other measurements taken nearby. Daily temperature and precipitation measurements were to...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: El Niño GPM GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Trainers Teachers Students Partners Country Coordinators Teacher's Guide: Protocol Specific Documents

From the start, the measurement of daily maximum and minimum air temperature within one hour of local solar noon has been a key GLOBE protocol. The low cost approach was to use a U-tube thermometer housed in a wooden instrument shelter facing away from the equator. The U-shaped tube contained mercury with pins on either side of the mercury. As the air temperature warmed the pin on one side would move while the other pin stayed in place; when the air cooled, the pin on the other side would be pushed up. The pins were held in place by magnetized strips behind the thermometer tube so that they...


Posted in: Curriculum: STEM Technology GLOBE Science Topics: Earth as a System Earth System Science GLOBE Protocols Climate Change Climate GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Teachers Trainers Students Partners Scientists Alumni Country Coordinators

Quaking aspens can grow in a wide range of environmental conditions. They can tolerate a wide variety of variations in climate and environmental conditions including slope, moisture, surrounding vegetation, and soil (https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/aspen/ecology.shtml). I found this information with a simple web search. But, before there was access to infinite articles, websites, and papers all a click away, scientists had to figure out growth trends using data. So, before I decided to do a web search about the environmental conditions of aspen habitats (my memorized aspen facts...


Posted in: Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Hydrosphere Pedosphere (Soil) Atmosphere Biosphere News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Teachers Students

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a GLOBE student named Aspen. I was excited because my favorite type of tree is Aspen (Quaking Aspen to be more specific, Populus tremuloides to be even more specific), and I was able to tell her some of the fun facts about her namesake. My favorite thing about aspens is their bark. The white powder on it can act as sunscreen. It’s only about an SPF of 5 but it’s still pretty cool. The bark also contains chloroplasts which means it can photosynthesize, making it one of the few deciduous trees that do not solely rely on leaves for photosynthesis. They...


Posted in: Investigation Areas: Biosphere Primary Audience: Trainers Teachers Students Partners Scientists Alumni Country Coordinators

In my previous blog post, I showed the results of my surface temperature experiment. It was a great way to highlight some of the practical ways to use science, and it was yet another way for me to talk about my puppy. My experiment and accompanying blog was straightforward enough. I identified a problem, I designed an experiment, collected data, and presented the results. This is how science is done, right?! With years of experiment experience behind me, this should have been a very fast and easy task, but I had one problem that I forgot to account for, my Attention Deficit Disorder. ...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Scientist Skills Earth as a System Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Surface Temperature

These are the results from my surface temperature experiment that I discussed in my previous blog post (same title, part 1). Results and Conclusion: Figure 2: Graph of average surface temperatures of the three surfaces over three days including air temperature data lines. My results show that my hypothesis was half right (remember, it’s ok if your data results do not match your hypothesis!). During the day, asphalt was the hottest, concrete was in the middle, and grass was the coolest. The surface temperatures of all three dropped at night, however, I was incorrect about asphalt...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Data Included GLOBE Protocols Earth System Science Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Surface Temperature News Topics: Virtual Science Fair

In case you missed it, last month, was all about the 2017 International Virtual Science Symposium. There were over 140 entries from all 6 GLOBE regions. Students submitted reports about their research on all of the “spheres” (hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, pedosphere, and earth as a system) and they were reviewed by a panel of scientists, teachers, and science enthusiasts to be rewarded with stars and badges. I had the wonderful privilege of being able to read through and review several projects. I was blown away with the thought and hard work that went into these projects. Of...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Data Included Earth System Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Protocols Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Surface Temperature News Topics: Virtual Science Fair

As Earth science has a single uncontrolled object of study, the first rule is to take today’s data today. While ice and sediment cores and fossils can reveal past conditions, the observations that can be made right now cannot be replaced by ones taken later. This goes well with the Native American adage, “You can’t step in the same river twice.” The environment is constantly changing and doing so on a wide range of time and space scales. In a recent video post, Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “One of the great things about science is that it is an entire exercise finding what is true. You have...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Learning Expeditions Science Symposia and Fairs Field Campaigns: El Niño SMAP GLOBE Science Topics: Earth as a System Earth System Science General Science Climate Change Climate Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Primary Audience: Teachers Students Alumni

In the fall of 2016, the students in my Weather and Climate class, GEPL 4490/5490, at the University of Toledo developed projects based on El Nino. The students in class were give the task to look at GLOBE data from a part of the world in which El Nino has an effect. The students were also tasked to do research on El Nino and La Nina to see what it is.   The students looked at the following locations: Taiwan 2015 – Nicole Jablonski, Bailey Hafner, Cortnee Halpin Japan 1998 – Sean Smith, Australia 1998 – Madhusanka Jayawardhana, Josh Coll, and Justin Maluchnik As you can see in...


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Consider the rain gauge used in GLOBE, CoCoRaHS, and other citizen science programs. Just four pieces plus 2 mounting screws – an inner graduated cylinder, an outer cylinder, a cap/funnel, and a mounting bracket. The area of the outer tube is exactly 10 times the areas of the inner tube and the cap/funnel, so the graduations on the inner cylinder can be spaced ten times further apart. Thus, 0.2 mm of rain fills the inner tube to a depth of 2.0 mm, which one can read. In addition, if heavy rainfall fills the inner cylinder, the rest of the rainfall overflows into the outer cylinder, which...


Posted in: Curriculum: STEM Field Campaigns: El Niño GPM GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science GLOBE Protocols Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Teachers Students Alumni