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.




Nitrogen is an important molecule that makes up nearly 78 percent of the atmosphere.  Burning fossil fuels and using fertilizers for agriculture are two ways that this number can increase.  But the atmosphere isn’t the only place that nitrogen is found – it is also found in bodies of water.  Of the nitrogen that is spread in fertilizers, only 25-30 percent is absorbed by plants, so that leaves a lot of nitrogen left to either be absorbed by the atmosphere or into water.  Figure 1 shows the intricacies of the nitrogen cycle, from Physical Geography.net’s Fundamentals...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Hydrosphere » Nitrates

This week, we have a guest post from Dr. Angela Rowe – a post-doc with Colorado State University and the country of Taiwan examining radar data and monsoons.  Dr. Rowe received her undergraduate degree in meteorology from Millersville University, and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Colorado State University, focusing on the Asian and North American Monsoons.  This post is timely, as the monsoon was mentioned in many of the state of the climate of 2010 discussions for different GLOBE regions. When most people hear the word “monsoon”, thoughts of abrupt, intense...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science

In December 2009, Dr. Donna Charlevoix, of the GLOBE Program Office, attended the COP-15 (15th meeting of the Conference of Parties) meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Dr. Charlevoix gave a great summary of the meetings in five separate blog posts that began on 7 December 2009.  Some of you may have read these posts, and for those of you who haven’t, I encourage you to visit them, beginning with the first to get a better understanding of the importance of these annual meetings. This year’s meeting was titled COP-17 (17th Conference of Parties).  The meeting is...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: General Science Primary Audience: Scientists

Sometimes in a rapidly changing world, it is difficult to see the effects that small changes in human lifestyle can have on not only climate, but on ecosystems.  Various countries and international organizations are working to pass legislation to ensure change.  One such case of legislation working is being observed in the San Francisco Bay – the return of harbor porpoises.  This was recently reported in the  QUEST biology blog . The map below shows the location of the San Francisco Bay, marked by the bubble with an A, from Google.  In 1972,...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science GLOBE Protocols Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere

A few weeks ago, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) wrote about a report claiming that some of the fruit from native trees in Britain are ripening anywhere from 13 to 18 days earlier than they did a decade ago.  The report was from Nature’s Calendar, a data collection network in the United Kingdom.  While the cause isn’t specifically known, many believe it’s due to a change in climate. What does a change like this mean to the earth as a system? Scientists are interested in studying the connections between the different Earth processes – from how greenhouse...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Change GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System