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




The NASA GLOBE Clouds team recently presented a webinar the details of how your cloud observations are matched to satellite data. The webinar, recording found below, also focuses on the importance and quality of the observations, ways that the data can be used by scientists, and current work being done by the team at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. The webinar also highlights newly processed data from the temperature and cloud observations reported for the Great North American Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017.      See how your data is collected...


Posted in: Curriculum: STEM Education Research Science and Math Technology Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Science Topics: Scientist Skills Earth System Science GLOBE Protocols General Science Backyard Science Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Clouds News Topics: Video Primary Audience: Trainers Teachers Partners Scientists Country Coordinators

Spring is starting to spring in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere but not quite yet in others. The March observations period for the Urban Heat Island/Surface Temperature Student Research Campaign has started. Please take surface temperature observations in March to help out with the campaign. If you can, please take observations from two sites so you can compare the temperatures for them. One approach is to take observations from a grassy area and an asphalt area to compare. Just a quick look at surface temperature data on the GLOBE visualization page shows the cold weather that is...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Earth System Science

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

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 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

Most trees obtain water through their massive root systems, but did you know that some trees can absorb water through their leaves as well? This ability is called foliar uptake. Scientists recently discovered that trees in cloud forests use foliar uptake to obtain water. A cloud forest is a forest that has persistent or seasonally persistent fog or low-level cloud cover. Cloud forests are usually in the tropics or subtropics, have evergreen trees (trees that don’t lose their leaves) and tend to have a lot of mosses and vegetation in the understory of the trees. Cloud Forest located...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Biosphere

GLOBE’s Earth as a System investigation area cultivates students’ awareness of an intricate web of global connections. Similar to real world scientists, students explore life science concepts, learning that “organisms can only survive where their needs are met.”  The Earth as a System investigation area encourages students to observe patterns and connections, such as through phenology. Phenology is the study of how living organisms respond to seasonal changes in their environment. Only through observing and measuring can we notice if changes are occurring and how they occur. For...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Biosphere » Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds