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




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

Hello GLOBE friends! The Evaluation Working Group has recently shared with you the results of the 2015 survey that was sent to the GLOBE teachers. The results from this survey, along with the results from the Annual Partner Survey provided us  with useful information as to how to better support  GLOBE in the classroom. Among other things,. the feedback we had from the teachers was that they are asking for evaluation tools they can use in their classrooms and for guidance on how to use these  tools. During our discussions in the Working Group we thought about this request...


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This time was my first visit to Trinidad and Tobago and to the LAC region. The visit was first of its kinds, knowing vividly that Africans and the People of Trinidad and Tobago have so many things in common in terms of Geography and Historical antecedent.  The motivation for my visit to Trinidad and Tobago started during the 17th GLOBE Annual meeting at Maryland. Initially, it was just a brief discussion with Henry Saunders (Country Coordinator, GLOBE Trinidad and Tobago). However, after a year, I met Mr. Michael at GLOBE Expedition in New Delhi, India where we had in-depth discussions...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Primary Audience: Teachers Students Scientists Alumni Country Coordinators

Concerns regarding the impact of global warming on vector-borne diseases have intensified interest in the relationship between atmospheric factors and dengue fever incidence. Global climate change poses the threat of serious social upheaval, population displacement, economic hardships, and environmental degradation. Changes in temperature, rainfall and relative humidity have potential to enhance vector development, reproductive and biting rates, shorten pathogen incubation period and encourage adult longevity. In addition, changes in wind direction, velocity and frequency will have an...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change GLOBE Protocols Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Learning Activities: Hydrology Primary Audience: Teachers Students

Hi All, The Urban Heat Island/Surface Temperature Research Campaign was very successful this year. There were a total of 1306 surface temperature observations from 59 schools during the Urban Heat Island/Surface Temperature Research Campaign. Schools that have participated so far (I put the country the schools are in and the state for the schools in the United States): 21CCLC Newport Community School - 12 Al Fisaliah Gifted School at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – 10 Al-Anjal Intermediate Schoo at Rejal Alma’a, Saudi Arabia - 2 Al-Fahd Secondary School at Rejal Alma'a, Saudi Arabia - 4 Alder...


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It was great to see the GLOBE presence at the AMS Annual Meeting in Seattle last week. Monday, the Symposium on Education is focused on K12 initiatives. The morning sessions all focused on GLOBE related activities and projects that included the NASA Mission Earth Project, GOES-R/16, the new Elementary GLOBE Climate book, and the International Virtual Science Fair. The new GLOBE Cloud app was presented in the afternoon. There were several projects presented in the Education Poster session as well. It would be great to see even more presentations of all the innovative and wonderful...


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Hi All, We are well into the Urban Heat Island/Surface Temperature Student Research Campaign. Data are coming into the GLOBE website from schools from around the world. To date there have been 43 schools that have uploaded data to the GLOBE website. As I am writing this, there are a total of 596 surface temperature observations taken and entered on the website from December 1 to December 14, 2016. That’s a whole lot of data. The most observations have come in from Rick Sharpe’s students at Huntington High School in West Virginia with a total of 202. Kim Clark’s students from John Marshall...


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Hi All, It is exciting that we started a new Urban Heat Island/Surface Temperature Student Research Campaign that was formally knows as the Surface Temperature Field Campaign. I wanted to get an email out before the campaign started, but I came down with a bad cold. 27 schools have taken observations and entered them on the GLOBE website. I know that many more of you have taken observations or are planning to take observations. If you can, please enter your observations on the GLOBE website sooner than later. I will take a look at the observations. This research campaign is a chance for me...


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In most scientific research an important test is whether the results of an experiment can be repeated, typically repeated by another lab and research group. A result that cannot be confirmed in this way is generally viewed as invalid. This is a great test for controlled experiments where virtually identical experimental conditions may be achieved. In Earth science research involving observations of the natural world, experimental conditions cannot be reproduced. For environmental research the standard must switch for repeatable to intercomparable – capable of being compared. Research...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Earth System Science Backyard Science GLOBE Protocols Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Pedosphere (Soil) Atmosphere Biosphere Primary Audience: Trainers Teachers Students Scientists Alumni

Yesterday, I visited Bell Multicultural High School and Lincoln Middle School, which share a campus near my home. It was inspiring, and I saw good science teaching with students doing research experiments dealing with bioremediation of soils. In discussions, I found myself talking about GLOBE and the many aspects of what the Program offers. Students were experimenting with plant uptake of soil contaminants and were planning to take water samples from the Anacostia River bordering the area where they had collected soil samples. Their insight into the soil could be greatly expanded through...


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A heat lamp and reflector socket with a spring clamp may be purchased on-line for as little as $26. The amount of time required to dry samples depends on many things including the wetness of the initial sample, the soil characteristics, the relative humidity, and the temperature to which the sample is heated. GLOBE protocols specify that samples are not to be heated above 105o C. In using a heat lamp, the temperature to which the sample is heated depends on the wattage of the bulb and the distance between the heat lamp and the sample bag. I have tried drying a sample using this...


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Phenology: Community Storytelling in Action (This is a continuation of my blog about Rising Voices. Click here to see the first blog entry in this series.) "How healthy is our reef?" The following day, after meeting Aunty Pua Case and hearing about the sacredness of Mauna Kea and touring the Mauna Loa Observatory, we went to the Ka’upulehu Interpretive Center to learn about place-based learning in Hawai’i. There, we met Aunty Lei - another powerful educator and leader who talked about the educational center that they created in their community and some of the ways the community...


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Blog Two (This is a continuation of my blog about Rising Voices. Click here to see the first blog entry in this series.) Part One: Mauna Kea “Let’s do something that is right for our mountain, and our people, and our mountain.” Location: Pu’uhuluhul, base of the Mauna Kea Mountain, en route to Mauna Loa Observatory We arrived at the base between two mountains: Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. We met Aunty Pua Case, who shared the importance of Mauna Kea to the people of Hawai’i and led us through a cultural protocol to recognize the sacredness of the space. Similar to scientific protocols,...


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Blog One: Rising Voices: Collaborative Science with Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Solutions Credit: Craig Elevitch     Nana ka maka, look with your eyes. Ho'olohe ka pepeiao, hear with your ears (not your Heart). Paa ka waha, shut your mouth. Hana i ka lima, work with your hands.         According to the United States National Climate Assessment 2014, “climate change threatens Native Peoples’ access to traditional foods and adequate water. Alaskan Native communities are increasingly exposed to health and livelihood hazards related to...


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GLOBE friends, The Annual Meeting in Colorado is only a few days away! We -the members of the Evaluation Working Group- are really excited about having the opportunity to meet in person again and about having the chance to interact with all of you. Join us for our presentations to see what we have worked on for the past year. Our efforts will be much more targeted and much more effective if you share with us your experience of using GLOBE with your students. We would like to know your success stories, your challenges, your concerns and your suggestions.  At present...


Posted in: GLOBE Working Groups: Evaluation Working Group

Bird Beaks and What they Eat Overview:  Students identify ideal beak shape for food. Age: Upper primary (4th and 5th graders) assisted 1st graders Materials: Bird beak/food handout Straws Dixie cups Juice Tweezers Bowls Wild grain rice Slotted spoons Cooked noodles (macaroni or similarly shaped) Chopsticks Gummy bears White rice Scissors Marshmallows (jumbo) Plan: Ask students why birds have beaks and what they are used for - allow time for discussion. Read a book about beaks to the group. I used Birds Use Their Beaks by Elaine Pascoe. After reading, discuss...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Learning Activities: Land Cover/Biology Primary Audience: Teachers Students

Click on the link forwarded by Dr.Tim Schmit (GOES-R PI) to view some amazing imagery! http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/category/goes-14


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Looking for collaborators on the GOES-R Weather Watchers Project. Let's bring the satellite and STEM education community together!


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Berks Nature is the new Northeast Mid-Atlantic regional partner forum member. My name is Michael Griffith and my email address is michael.griffith@berksnature.org. If you have any question please feel free to contact me. My main background is water, birds, and bugs, but I am familiar with all the protocols. We are here to help you with education in anyway possible. All my contact information is below.     Work Bio  Michael J. Griffith Education & Watershed Specialist Michael joined our staff in August of 2015. He has volunteered for many environmental...


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This is the second half to a blog posted on 25 March 2016. To see part one, click here. We are pleased that our guest blogger, Jacob Spivey, is back to share more information about oceans and climate. Jacob also blogs at Weatherbolt.  If part of the ocean has a lower salinity, then it’s going to be less dense and there won’t be as much sinking water there. This can trigger the slowdown of another circulation, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC (thank goodness scientists abbreviate some of the names that they come up with!). Like the GTC, this is another...


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We are pleased to welcome guest blogger Jacob Spivey. Jacob is a senior undergraduate in Meteorology with a minor in Climatology at Penn State University. Fascinated by weather extremes as he was growing up, today he looks at possible relationships between extreme weather and climate change. Within the past few years, he has also begun looking at how these subjects are communicated to the general public, a process which he has started doing himself in his online blog, Weatherbolt. Ask someone what they think of when they hear about climate change, and you might get a few...


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See  https://www.facebook.com/groups/602168936587444/  


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The next GLOBE training will occur at the University of North Dakota on Monday 8 August and Tuesday 9 August 2016, with online components beginning Friday 5 August. Trainers will be Dr. Laura Munski of the Dakota Science Center and Dr. Matt Gilmore of Atmospheric Sciences. New this year, teachers will watch several introductory online videos and complete several hours of e-training with quiz questions - totaling 3 hours of online instruction. Invited again this year are pre-service teachers (e.g., students at UND or Mayville State University)...


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Why should we study mosquitos in our area? By Mullica Jaroensutasinee, Krisanadej Jaroensutasinee, Walailak University Rebecca Boger, Brooklyn College and Elena Sparrow, UAF Before we try to answer this, we should ask ourselves about how much do we know about them? For example, how many mosquito species present in our area? Would they carry some diseases? Where are their main breeding sites? Would they prefer to bite kids than adults and elderly? What time of year? What time of day would they most active (biting us)? Let us give you some example on mosquitos that are main vector for...


Posted in: GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group

Thai Coral Reef and Climate Change Assoc. Prof. Krisanadej Jaroensutasinee, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mullica Jaroensutasinee, Centre of Excellence for Ecoinformatics, Walailak University, Thailand Everybody loves to spend their vacation snorkling or diving, seeing coral reef, reef fish and other marine creature. Would it be very sad when we go diving and see lots of dead corals? Of course, we would. What can we do to prevent this to happen? How can we and our students involve in some coral conservation? It is everyone responsibility to help improve our world to be a better place to live in. ...


Posted in: GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group

look for a colleague from university of India (nanomaterials) to collaborate with him


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My first empirical contact with the soil started almost 10 years ago when I was writing my B.Sc Dissertation on Grain Size Characteristics of Overbank Deposit on the Floodplains of Opa Reservoir Basin SW Nigeria. While undergoing this research I took 200 core bulk soil sediments along the three selected floodplains coupled with laboratory testing of samples, after a year the research was published by International Journal of Environmental Hydrology. http://www.hydroweb.com/journal-hydrology-2007-paper-22.html The SMAP training at LA during the 20th GLOBE Annual and Partners Meeting...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: SMAP GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group

MERRY  CHRISTMAS


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The Surface Temperature Field Campaign has come to a close, but please feel free to keep taking surface temperature observations. I know that many of you and your students are still taking observations and you are planning your projects to present at science fairs as well as the GLOBE regional science fairs. The Surface Temperature field campaign ran through the first day of winter. In the Northern Hemisphere, the official first day of winter is December 22 this year and in the Southern Hemisphere, it was the first day of summer . The start of the seasons are actually defined in different...


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

This second week of the surface temperature field campaign has seem probably the warmest temperatures that we have seen in any field campaign in the eastern United States. I was at Ida Middle School in Michigan yesterday and the kids were outside in short sleeve shirts. The student was a little cold but it wasn’t terrible. Some years there is 200 mm of snow on the ground. We have had 26 schools, 8 countries and 9 US states enter 414 observations. Roswell-Kent Middle School is leading the pack with 83 observations. Main Street School in Ohio and Crestwood High School in Michigan are keeping...


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

We have had a great start to our 2015 Surface Temperature Field Campaign. We are off to a quick start with 16 schools reporting since December 1, 2015. There are a number of other schools that collected data in November. I hope they are able to collect observations in December as well. Since November 1, 8 countries have reported data and 5 states within the United States. If we look at the number of observations since December 1, Main Street School in Norwalk, Ohio has the most observations. Below, I’ll talk about how El Nino is affecting the temperatures in the United States. I noticed...


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

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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