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.




Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/04/17/exploring-the-intertropical-convergence-zone/ This week we have a guest post from Janis Steele, PhD and Brooks McCutchen, PhD. They own and operate Berkshire Sweet Gold Maple and Marine, an agroforestry and ocean-going enterprise concerned with sustainable livelihoods and the preservation of wild and perennial ecosystems, from ridge-to-reef. Along with their three boys, Connor, Rowan and Gavin, they spend half of each year running their farm in the Berkshires in Western...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/?p=1654 This week we are continuing our Full Length Mississippi series with  Mike Link and his wife Kate Crowley.   Mike is the retired founding director of The Audubon Center of the North Woods in Minnesota, an author of 24 books, a published researcher (vernal ponds and ornithology), a college instructor at Hamline University, and a consultant to non-profits.   When we decided that our effort to understand fresh water systems would move from Lake Superior to...


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Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:   blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/04/03/the-most-important-step-in-science-communicating-your-results/ I remember in high school that I liked science and math much more than my grammar and literature classes.  I recall thinking that if I pursued a career in science, I wouldn’t have to worry about reading and writing and I could really focus on the things I most enjoyed.  Boy was I wrong, and quite ignorant to boot!  In my scientific career, I read and write all of the time, and have come to really value and...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/?p=1625 This week we have a guest blogger, Margi Dashevsky.  Margi currently serves as the Co-Director of the Latin American Center for Arts Science and Education (CLACE).  She has a passion for sharing her love of learning with others and has worked as a science educator for over a decade.  She graduated with honors from Dartmouth College, where she majored in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Field Ecology, and minored in Geography.  Margi grew up...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Technology

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/03/13/from-lake-superior-to-the-mississippi-river-a-renewed-commitment-to-fresh-water/ This week we are beginning our Full Length Mississippi series, and we will team back up with Mike Link and Kate Crawley.  Link and Crawley highlighted pieces of their Full Circle Superior journey with the GLOBE Scientists’ Blog last year through a series of posts, the first of which you can read here .  They are starting on a new adventure and commitment to the issue of fresh water: a...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Watersheds GLOBE Science Topics: Earth as a System Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/03/06/connecting-pollutants-and-air-temperature-in-the-maldives/ With climate change, there are many relationships that are understood, and many others that are not.  Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan from The Scripps Institute  in San Diego has spent the last fifteen years in the Maldives, a nation south of India that is comprised of over 1,200 islands, studying the relationship between air pollutants, cloud formation and air temperature. The Maldives are a great location for...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Carbon Cycle GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change General Science Investigation Areas: Atmosphere

A couple of years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the Climate and Global Dynamics Division  (CGD) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research  (NCAR) on how climate change is threatening the survival of wolverines ( Gulo gulo ).  This scientist, Synte Peacock from CGD, painted a gloomy outlook for this ferocious creature after using a climate model to examine changes in spring snow cover and summer air temperatures.    However, recent legislative proposals may make the future a little brighter.   A...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/02/21/capturing-plant-green-up-through-your-lens/ This week we have a guest blogger, Jessica Taylor . Jessica has been active as a GLOBE observer and trainer since 2001 and is a Master Trainer at NASA Langley Research Center. She conducts regular GLOBE Teacher Workshops in the areas of atmosphere and phenology investigations and works with several NASA missions to integrate GLOBE activities into their educational outreach efforts. Whenever I talk with teachers about studying...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Earth as a System Investigation Areas: Biosphere » Green-Up / Green-Down

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/02/13/globe-and-the-landsat-launch/ This week we have a guest blogger, Jennifer Bourgeault .  Jennifer, a member of the GLOBE Land Cover/Biology Team for 10 years, is the North Country Education Services (NCES) New Hampshire GLOBE Partnership coordinator and Master Trainer in the Land Cover/Biology protocols.  She thinks everyone should know how to use the Modified UNESCO Classification (MUC) Field Guide to classify land cover and how to use Multispec to look at change over...


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

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/02/06/how-does-globe-improve-your-community-show-us-2013-earth-day-video-competition Earth Day has been inspiring demonstrations and projects for a healthier, more sustainable environment for more than 40 years.  The first Earth Day, celebrated on 22 April 1970, featured over 20 million Americans joining together in auditoriums, parks and streets across the country to show solidarity in the fight against oil spills and toxic dumping, protecting wildlife and their habitats, and...


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The cold weather this last month has led to Lake Erie developing ice cover. This past week, the temperature has been averaging about 20 F (-6 C). Even with temperatures in the 50s and 60s F (10 C to 15 C), ice has formed. See the Figure 1 below. As you can see in the picture, the ice on Lake Erie is broken up into things that look like islands. The wind blows the ice around and breaks it up. There is a straight line through Lake St. Clair that extends down into Lake Erie. What do you think caused this straight line? Usually, on Earth, straight lines are produced by humans. Figure...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/01/30/an-interesting-relationship-soil-temperature-and-climate-change/ It seems common place that warmer air temperature leads to warmer soil temperature. And while this relationship seems intuitive, the effect isn’t always studied, especially with respect to the response from microorganisms. That is why researchers are investigating what happens when the soil temperature increases. An intricate network of soil microorganisms From: Commonwealth Scientific and...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) » Soil Temperature

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/01/23/trees-in-trouble-what-affect-does-tree-mortality-have-on-climate-change/ Through our trees in trouble series, we’ve examined trees in the Sahel zone in Africa and the United States .  This problem, climate change and dying trees, has been seen on every continent, the only exception being Antarctica, due to the lack of vegetation on the frozen continent.   Scientists have recently found that there is an alarming loss rate of big, old trees, whose ages range from...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change General Science Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Biosphere

Blog previously posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/01/16/a-tale-of-two-extremes/ Weather extremes have become a common theme in the news headlines the past few weeks. For example, nearly every part of the United States has been experiencing one of two extremes – either frigid cold or record-breaking high temperatures. Places like Arizona and California experienced below-freezing temperatures, which can have potential impacts on the crops grown in these typically balmy regions. In contrast, cities in the Southeast U.S., such as Atlanta,...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Investigation Areas: Atmosphere

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2013/01/11/globe-at-ams-sharing-our-community/ This week I attended the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in Austin, TX.  I started attending eight years ago as a senior undergraduate meteorology major at Millersville University.  That first year, I'll admit, was very overwhelming - great minds from various expertises within the Earth Sciences came together to share ideas and present their recent research.  The meeting brings many...


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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...


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. ...


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

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/12/19/the-chicken-and-egg-story-of-global-warming-and-extreme-droughts-a-lesson-on-climate-feedbacks/ I recently read that the extreme drought in western North America during 2000-2004 actually resulted in more carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. In the article in Nature Geoscience , it explained that such droughts can further enhance global warming. When a drought occurs, the plants wither and die and no longer uptake carbon dioxide (normally living plants serve as a...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Storm Coming Across US If you live in the United States, you probably have heard of the snow storm crossing the country right now. There will be mountain snow in the Rockie Mountains, a potential for a blizzard from Nebraska to Wisconsin and then some snow to the Great Lakes states. The National Weather Service (NWS) definition of a blizzard is: "A blizzard means that the following conditions are expected to prevail for a period of 3 hours or longer: Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater; and Considerable falling and/or...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/12/12/the-common-thread-between-science-and-art-creativity/ When you examine a seashell, a crystal, the skin of a snake or the wings of a butterfly, what do you think about?  Art?  Science? Or the obvious connection between the two?  At the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, CA last week, thousands of scientists, including myself, found ourselves examining the intersection of science and art through a wide variety of...


Posted in: Curriculum: Language Culture and Arts Science and Math