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.




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

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

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

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

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