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.




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 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

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

All over the United States, spring flowers such as daffodils and crocuses began blooming nearly a month ago due to an unseasonably warm winter.  Some of my friends from many parts of the country have been mentioning how beautiful their gardens are and enjoying the warm weather.  Even my family and friends from the Mid-Atlantic region have been sending photos showing off their beautiful home gardens. Daffodils in bloom in late February Many think it’s really nice to see green grass, budding trees, and flowers in bloom in late February, as it’s a spirit lift...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate Earth System Science

From January 22 to 26, 2012, scientists from around the world gathered for the American Meteorological Society annual meeting, which was held in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Scientists from the GLOBE Program stayed next to the beautiful Mississippi River. The Mississippi River in New Orleans (photo courtesy of Dr. Donna Charlevoix) The Mississippi River is the lifeblood of New Orleans and has so impacted the city that the city was actually developed around it. The first buildings were constructed around the river edge, which has the highest ground, and now...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Primary Audience: Students

This week we’ll finish our look at the climate summaries for each GLOBE region with a focus on the Near East-North Africa region.  Remember that these annual reports provide a summary of the global climatic conditions and are a great benchmark for monitoring climate. Regional reports provide a tremendous amount of information. The temperature and precipitation climate summaries are highlighted here, but if you are interested, more information about the Near East-North Africa region state of the climate is available from this website: ...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change Earth System Science

This week we’ll continue our look at the climate summaries for each GLOBE region, with a focus on the North America region.  These annual reports provide a summary of the global climatic conditions and are a great benchmark for monitoring climate. Regional reports provide a tremendous amount of information. The temperature and precipitation climate summaries are highlighted here, but if you are interested, more information about the North America Region state of the climate is available from this website: ...


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

This week we’ll continue our look at the climate summaries for each GLOBE region, with a focus on the Latin America-Caribbean region.  Remember that these annual reports provide a summary of the global climatic conditions and are a great benchmark for monitoring climate. You can use this data in your own GLOBE climate research projects! Regional reports provide a tremendous amount of information including temperature, precipitation, tropical cyclone activity, and notable events. Temperature and precipitation climate summaries are highlighted here; more information about the...


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