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.




Gathering data Once you have determined what protocols to use for your project, you will need to develop a plan for gathering the data. It might consist of using automated data collection or making your own measurements. Also, it may include finding data taken by others, such as when you compare your observations with those of another GLOBE school. Automated Data Collection If you are using an automated data collection device or devices, verify that the data are being recorded properly before your official testing timeframe. You will want to monitor that the data are being...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Scientist Skills Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Students Teachers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level » Middle: 6-8 Grade Level » Secondary: 9-12

Exciting new VR and AR applications of Geovisualizations are be developed at the Institute for Earth Observations at Palmyra Cove. You can check a quick demo on our Partnership's website www.palmyracove.org or take a look at the Mission Earth webinar @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCgntUpqcFg


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The Urban Heat Island field campaign October version turned out to be a great success. Many schools took observations and entered them onto the GLOBE website. Remember, we are looking at the urban heat island in the seasons, October, December and March. Forty-three schools entered data in the month of October. If you haven't entered your data yet, please do soon. You can see on the map below that there were observations taken across the world. The size of the dot represents the total number of observations taken at  the site. There has been great participation from Saudi Arabia,...


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Having students collaborate on projects has been a great potential of the GLOBE Program. Through GLOBE Mission EARTH, students in Detroit, Michigan and Shageluk, Alaska interacted over the Internet. Their teachers worked together with GLOBE Mission EARTH to plan the exchange. Students from Randy Smith Middle School, Fairbanks, Alaska, Carol Scott. Thirkell Elementary School 5th grade, Detroit Michigan - Teacher Connie Atkisson Students were asked to generate questions to ask each other before the web meeting. They found that their houses were very similar. The...


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Authors: Claudia Caro and Olawale Oluwafemi (Femi) Our participation in the International Virtual Science Symposium (IVSS) as judges has allowed us  to learn more about  the scientific experiences of students involved in the GLOBE Program. As members of the GLOBE Science Working Group with backgrounds in Geography and Biology, we would like to share our findings about the importance of the IVSS in the GLOBE community and give you some advice to empower your participation in this extraordinary yearly event. Why an International Virtual Science Symposium? Knowledge...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Students Teachers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Grade Level » Middle: 6-8 Grade Level » Secondary: 9-12

When you start writing your GLOBE report for IVSS, it might be difficult because you might not sure where to start. We tend to start writing the Methods section first because it is something you did it yourselves and it should be relatively easy and straight forward to write. Second, you should write the Results section, do graphs, tables and texts (think of a best way to present your cool data to the whole world). Third, you should start writing the Introduction stating your hypotheses and predictions. The next step would be the Discussion section. It is funny to say but as scientists, we...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs Meetings GLOBE Science Topics: Scientist Skills Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Students Teachers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Grade Level » Middle: 6-8 Grade Level » Secondary: 9-12

https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/#v=52.02687,-9.54373,10.654,latLng&t=3.20  


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The journal Scientific American just published a blog about GLOBE. The post, titled " The GLOBE Program: Making the Case for K–12 Citizen Scientists " discusses several aspects of GLOBE, including our contributions and campaigns. As well, it helps explain our mission of providing the resources for students across the world to become citizen scientists. "Contributing to global datasets not only gives students a chance to collect data that scientists can actually use, but allows them to compare their experiences and findings with other students around the world." To read more about...


Posted in: Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Other Field Campaigns: El Niño Surface Temperature GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Observations of daily precipitation have been a part of GLOBE from the beginning. At the start, GLOBE’s participation model was that schools would take measurement following all of the original 17 protocols. Atmosphere temperature, precipitation, cloud, and soil moisture measurements were to be collected daily at a site easily accessible to the school. A permanent installation of an instrument shelter containing a max/min thermometer mounted to a post along with a rain gauge was the expected norm with other measurements taken nearby. Daily temperature and precipitation measurements were...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: El Niño GPM GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Partners Students Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Protocol Specific Documents

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...


Posted in: Curriculum: Technology STEM GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

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...


Posted in: Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Hydrosphere Earth As a System Pedosphere (Soil) Biosphere News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Students Teachers

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...


Posted in: Investigation Areas: Biosphere Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

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 Earth as a System Earth System Science Scientist Skills 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...


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....


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

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...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Learning Expeditions Science Symposia and Fairs Field Campaigns: SMAP El Niño GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change General Science Earth as a System Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Primary Audience: Alumni Students Teachers

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...


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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,...


Posted in: Curriculum: STEM Field Campaigns: El Niño GPM GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science GLOBE Protocols Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Alumni Students Teachers

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...


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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 17 th 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...


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

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: Students Teachers

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...


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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...


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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...


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

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...


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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 105 o 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...


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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 ...


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