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




December 1 to December 31, 2015 The GLOBE Program will host the annual surface temperature field campaign from December 1 to December 31, 2015.  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 from fourth grade up to graduate students at universities. One of my graduate students published her masters thesis 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...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Surface Temperature GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group

And so last time we wondered whether Jayme would reach the summit... read her account below, to find out. September 29, 2015 With very little sleep at Kosovo camp, we bundled on our layers and tried to eat some breakfast on September 29, 2015. After making sure we had plenty of water, we began our daunting task up the volcanic scree. The guides led us up a path with many switchbacks, but it did not help us with the lower oxygen we were getting with each breathe. As the clouds rolled in, the Omani team was frequently asking for breaks. The guides would find a spot with larger volcanic...


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As I did not summit, I asked a GLOBE teacher and volcanologist (and no, she does not have ears like Dr. Spock from Star Trek!) Jayme Margolin-Sneider who did, to share her experience and that of the group that did summit.  As some background, Jayme completed her undergraduate degree at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA and Auckland University, New Zealand.  She then completed some research as a Fulbright Scholar at Hokkaido University, Japan (Seismic Volcanology Research).  Her graduate work was completed at New Mexico Tech, with a field...


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Our final day was an easy hike down from the Mweka camp to a village at 1400 m.  We had a final glance of the mountain at one point as we descended.  It looked beautiful with its fresh covering of snow. Kilimanjaro, with a fresh coat of snow, as seen from our final descent.   We were definitely in the rain forest biome again and the lush forest surrounded us as on our first day. We also saw the elephant trunk flower, (Impatiens kilimanjarii), a semi-official logo of the mountain.    Elephant trunk flower found along the side of the trail As we approached...


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For group 1, the science group, the descent was more gradual.  But for group 2, the big descent would be today. They would summit and descend most of the mountain on this day.   While waiting to leave Millenium camp, we collected data using GLOBE protocols.  Following this we had a rousing chorus of African songs, and we were all invited to join in. The group was in great spirits as we began our relatively short and all downhill hike.  We also passed a few other hikers as we walked -- this was an encouraging sign.  We were still in the moorland biome and were...


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After another cold night on the mountain (it was two degrees Celsius inside the tents) we awoke to a wonderful sight... Mt. Meru in a sea of clouds.   Mt. Meru, Tanzania's second highest mountain, in a sea of clouds as seen from Karanga Camp. Incredible view so early in the morning and a great way to begin our day.  The hike today would be a short three hours, so after a hearty breakfast we headed to Millenium camp.  The terrain was very much the same, but we did see obsidian rocks (formed when the lava from a volcano cools...


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GIO Director, Tony Murphy, taking water temperature in stream near Baranco camp early in the morning.  Temperature was 5C. Karanga camp, which is 10 m below Baranco camp is home for Monday night.  What an adventurous day we had getting there!  We began our morning taking soil moisture measurements for the SMAP campaign.  Mark Brettenny, GLOBE Africa Regional Officer, checking on a soil moisture probe before students take measurements. Then we hiked the 'wall.' As we left camp, it was full with a human train -- lots of hikers, guides and porters making...


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Measuring water temperature. After breakfast we split into the two groups.  Mark Brettenny of GLOBE Africa's Regional Office and I, stayed with group 1 to focus more on science.  Our next camp site is Baranco camp, 3940m, so a lower elevation than Lava Tower and set in a magnificent glacial valley.  Lava Tower, over 100 m high and formed when the volcano was active. During the hike we stopped and took a stream measurement.  The stream was frozen, and the Omani students were excited to see it.  The water flowing underneath had a temperature...


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We began the hike to Lava Tower, our next campsite, on Saturday morning. At 4600 m it was a significant rise in altitude.  About two hours into our hike, we stopped at a stream to take some GLOBE measurements.  Here students collected data and entered it into an iPad with the GLOBE Data Entry App.  Once we get back to a Wifi connection, all the data we are collecting will be uploaded into the database for all of us to see. Animals are difficult to see in this terrain but they do leave clues for you -- those come in all shapes and sizes.  Earlier in the day...


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Very early Friday morning, we heard the Colobus monkeys screaming and howling.  We awoke to find a Blue Monkey visiting our camp and checking us out.  We left Big Tree camp to a rousing African Omani mix of songs.  Soon we would be at our first protocol destination, a site within the rainforest.  Once we arrived there we divided into groups.  We took atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and pedosphere measurements.  Once completed we began to transition from rainforest to moorland.  This had heather growing tall, as a scrub... very...


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Before I arrived in Africa, I took another quick hike in the hills around Boulder to try to prepare myself for the coming adventure.  It was a beautiful Saturday and the area looked its best: clear blue skies, a little coolness in the air…..a wonderful day to hike.  The environment of course is different than Kilimanjaro in that Colorado is drier and has a different type of vegetation.  The exercise and being out is what was important in my preparation. View from Boulder Trail I left Denver on Sunday morning and arrived at Kilimanjaro airport at 7:30 pm on Monday...


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In about 15 days, I will begin the journey to Africa to join a team of GLOBE students, teachers, and scientists on the Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition.  This is an exciting trek as it takes us up to almost 6,000 metres (over 19,000 ft).  Almost 30 years ago, I was an expedition leader on a scientific and educational expedition in the Indian Himalayas, and that was an incredible experience. That group included students doing botanical research in a valley high in the mountains of Kashmir followed by a trek through to Leh, Ladakh. Taking part in a scientific expedition at...


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In about 15 days, I will begin the journey to Africa to join a team of GLOBE students, teachers, and scientists on the Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition.  This is an exciting trek as it takes us up to almost 6,000 metres (over 19,000 ft).  Almost 30 years ago, I was an expedition leader on a scientific and educational expedition in the Indian Himalayas, and that was an incredible experience. That group included students doing botanical research in a valley high in the mountains of Kashmir followed by a trek through to Leh, Ladakh. Taking part in a scientific expedition at...


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      On August 13-14, 2015, and with generous financial support from University of North Dakota's (UNDs) Summer Programs Office, Dr. Laura Munski and I completed our first 2-day GLOBE training at UND.  We trained three fantastic local teachers who all collaborate with the Dakota Science Center, and one GLOBE scientist who is also a PhD candidate in Atmospheric Sciences at UND.  The first day was focused on Atmosphere while the second day was focused on Earth as a System and Pedosphere.  Attached are some...


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GLOBE students measure the current values of many environmental properties, but the Precipitation Protocol measures the total amounts and the Max/Min Atmosphere and Soil Temperature protocols measure the extremes that have occurred during the previous 24 hours. At the beginning of GLOBE, the time of day for these daily measurements was chosen as within one hour of local solar noon. The thought was that the middle of the school day would be an easy time to have students go outside and take data. Today in GLOBE, the air and soil temperatures can be measured with the digital multi-day max/min...


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Test.


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Hello GLOBE friends! The Evaluation Working Group was formed last summer and our first meeting took place during  the GLE in New Delhi, India. The purpose of this group is to get in touch with the people who actually do GLOBE all over the world and find out how the Program works in schools, identify tools, resources and practices, build on the existing experience and provide suggestions that can help its implementation and outcomes. For this purpose, and after having  several teleconferences, we developed a set of questions that were included in the Annual Partner Survey. From...


Posted in: GLOBE Working Groups: Evaluation Working Group

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission has engaged with GLOBE to obtain surface soil moisture measurements from student citizen scientists. These measurements will become part of SMAP’s calibration/validation effort. Gravimetric soil moisture measurements are the gold standard for this environmental variable, and these may be taken by almost anyone. Through GLOBE, the resulting data can be reported and archived and put to use by the SMAP Science Team. SMAP scientists have indicated that measurements from clusters of 10 sites within a 10 km radius circle are particularly helpful....


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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 also...


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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 as steep...


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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: Daniel...


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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 investigations that you can engage...


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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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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 has...


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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 rivers...


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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 School, Taiwan ...


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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 18th 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 Middle School,...


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