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.




The GLOBE surface temperature field campaign started this week with some record warm temperatures in the United States. Students in much of the United States enjoyed short sleeve weather for several days. Schools have started to post observations on the GLOBE website. The GLOBE website has been changed dramatically over the last year. The GLOBE Program Office will be adding all teachers in a bulk transfer from the old database in the near future. Many teachers have also signed up on the GLOBE webpage http://www.globe.gov and the help desk has set them up so they can enter data. The...


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Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/28/enso-basics-whats-up-with-the-weather/ In the first post in this series, we looked at what ENSO is. Remember that the atmosphere and oceans are always moving, and in general, those movements follow a specified pattern. When the movement deviates from normal, to either an El Niño or La Niña, weather conditions in different regions of the world will respond. But who feels these effects first? Usually, equatorial countries that border the Pacific Ocean. But even these countries...


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Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/20/globe-and-adaptation-to-climate-change/ One of the most significant technology improvements in modern life is our ability to accurately forecast future events. Weather forecasts now routinely extend for five days. The recent flooding on the East Coast of the United States was forecast days in advance. The cause was an unusual merger of two storms to create a super storm – Super Storm Sandy. Atmospheric models correctly predicted that a winter storm coming from the north and a...


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Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/14/esno-basics-what-is-it/ Through many posts here on the Scientists’ Blog, we, in one way or another, discuss ENSO.  ENSO, or El Niño-Southern Oscillation, is a quasi-periodic climate pattern that occurs in the tropical Pacific Ocean.  When the conditions change, the atmosphere responds in many different ways.  In certain locations, it is cloudier and it rains more, while in others it’s clear and dry.  Through our “ENSO Basics” series, we’ll take a look at ENSO in...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change General Science

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/08/non-stationarity-new-vocabulary-for-a-changing-climate/ A few years ago I attended a workshop for early career scientists to discuss frontiers in integrated water-climate-society vulnerability and adaptation science. This interdisciplinary area of science focuses on the need for using scientific information to not only identify communities that are vulnerable to climate change, but to also help create effective approaches for communities to adapt to climate change. Since every...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/11/01/full-circle-superior-part-iv-changing-superior-changing-industry/ This week we pick back up on our Full Circle Superior Series.  In 2010 Mike Link and Kate Crowley chose to walk around the largest fresh water lake in the world – Lake Superior which has shoreline in both Canada and the United States. This 1555 mile/145 day walk was the first ever by a couple and the first to attempt to stay on the shoreline. Because Mike and Kate are educators in their sixties they wanted to...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/24/as-the-last-leaf-falls/ This was my first year doing the Green-Down Protocol with GLOBE. I am trained as an atmospheric scientist, so I have taken many atmospheric measurements over the course of my career. I had not ventured into the world of phenology until I joined GLOBE. More so, I am intrigued by this field of Earth Science, since it is closely connected to climate and can be a very good indicator of a climate change. This year, as part of the GLOBE Phenology and...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/19/supercomputing-and-climate-research-high-resolution-long-time-simulations-to-improve-our-understanding/ Have you ever watched a newscast and the on-air meteorologist mentions “according to our weather models, our best chances for rain will occur between the hours of 6 and 9 pm”? Have you wondered what exactly are those models they’re talking about? A weather model is a series of equations that take a look at an initial state of the atmosphere (such as the temperature,...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate General Science

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/05/xpedition-review-reflections-back-and-looking-ahead/ To say that the journey to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro was a success would not do justice to the wonderful personal and scientific experiences the team had.  From taking the first steps toward the summit on Sunday 23 September to summiting the following week and boarding flights to return home, each team member gained something that will stay with them forever. Collecting data in the rainforest ...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/04/xpedition-day-ten-mweka-camp-to-park-gate/ Monday, 1 October was the final day of The Xpedition. After an exciting summit day, the team continues on their descent and is picked up to head back to Arusha, where they will enjoy a well-deserved meal. Unloading the equipment after a successful trip  Throughout the entire journey, the team relied on the use of porters, who are local Tanzanians who carry equipment up the mountain. These porters are essential to a...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/03/xpedition-day-nine-special-crater-camp-to-summit-to-mweka-camp/ On Sunday, 30 September, the team made it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The summit sits at 5,895 m (19,340 ft) above sea level. What a fantastic accomplishment for the team!   Team at the summit Hiking on a glacier near the summit After the team spendt time celebrating their success, they began their descent, stopping at 3,200 m (10,498 ft) at Mweka Camp. To celebrate the...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/10/01/xpedition-day-eight-kosovo-camp-to-special-crater-camp/ As you may have noticed, the Scientist Blog was quiet for the past two days.  As is to be expected, things can change rapidly on the mountain and the ability for the team to send us their daily blogs was interrupted.  The team safely continued on their journey, and have sent us their blogs. Day Eight was Saturday, 29 September.  The team journeyed from 4,877 m (16,000 ft) to 5,608 m (18,399 ft).  This...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/28/xpedition-day-seven-karanga-camp-to-kossovo-camp/ Today the team continues on their journey to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro by traveling from the Karanga Camp, situated at 3,962 m (12,998 ft), to the Kossovo Camp at 4,877 m (16,000 ft). This leg of the journey takes the team back to the alpine desert biome. Part of the team stops for a photo While this biome is found on Mt. Kilimanjaro, it is also found in many other mountain ranges, including but not limited to...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/27/xpedition-day-six-lava-tower-to-karanga-camp/ A morning at camp  The team is now over halfway done with their trek to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  The journey began on Sunday 23 September as the team left Basecamp and hiked to Forest Camp.  You can read all about their journey starting here . A view of Mt. Kilimanjaro from the trail  Today’s part of the trek up Kilimanjaro takes the team back down in elevation,...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/26/xpedition-day-five-moir-hut-to-lava-tower/ Today marks another transition between biomes – from heath zone to alpine desert.  An alpine desert is a harsh, dry, windy region that consists of mostly bare rock and ice.  Temperatures during the day can soar to 38°C, while at night can be below freezing.  The air is very thin, which results in labored breathing as well as more intense solar radiation.  The Lava Tower camp sits at approximately 5,029 m (16,499 ft). ...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/25/xpedition-day-four-shira-1-camp-to-moir-hut/ Today the team will hike from Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut (Shira 2 Camp on the map below).  This part of the journey will take the team further into the heath zone.  As discussed yesterday , the heath zone is a zone of sparse vegetation due to lower rainfall amounts.   The route the team is taking: the western approach route The team stops for a discussion about soils Today’s question focuses on...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/24/xpedition-day-three-forest-camp-to-shira-1-camp/ Today the team heads from 2,438 m to 3,505 m above sea level.  This portion of the journey will take the team from rain forest to heath zone.  A rain forest is characterized by high rainfall, with annual totals ranging from 1750-2000 mm (68-78 in).  A heath zone is above the forest line, where porous soils and lower rainfall result in sparser vegetation. Leaving the rain forest heading to the heath zone ...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/23/xpedition-day-two-basecamp-to-forest-camp/ Packed and ready for the journey   Today, Sunday, 23 September, the team packs up the vehicles and heads off on their journey.  Their itinerary for the day includes a few hours’ drive from basecamp followed by a 3 hour hike to Forest Camp, located at 2,438 m above sea level. Taking a quick break on the hike   The bloggers were asked the following question as they set off on their...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change

Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/22/xpedition-day-one-basecamp/ Mt. Kilimanjaro from a distance Today marked Day 1 of The Xpedition.  Before the team begins their journey through the biomes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, our bloggers were asked the following question:  What are your expectations--personally and scientifically--for The Xpedition? Maddy My expectations are very open-ended! I don't want to get my heart set on anything because I know the mountain is ever-changing and shows us a...


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Blog originally posted on the GLOBE Scientists' Blog:  http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/19/students-teachers-and-scientists-explore-mt-kilimanjaro-through-globe-protocols-and-blogs/ Beginning on 23 September, five GLOBE students, teachers and scientists and one GLOBE alum will join commence on a journey through the biomes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Known as, “the Xpedidion,” the 2012 trek marks the fifth year of this exciting journey. This year will be bigger than ever as a documentary film crew will join us. In addition, we will be sharing images via ...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: Seasons and Biomes GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Earth as a System