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Sept 2015 news brief

September 2015 GLOBE News Brief

GLOBE Estonia Hosts Successful 
GLOBE Regional Learning Expedition

Image of the Week!

GLOBE Regional Learning Expedition

GLOBE Estonia, in cooperation with the Embassy of the United States of America in Tallinn and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Estonia, hosted the 2015 GLOBE Regional Learning Expedition (GRLE) from 3-6 August. Over 200 participants from seven countries (Baltic Sea region and Ukraine) attended the successful event. 


GLOBE Continues Preparations to Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in September

The photo shows an elephant in the foreground with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background.

On 23 September, an international team of scientists, teachers, and students will embark on an eight-day expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain on the African continent. The Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition, led by GLOBE teacher and partner Michael O' Toole, is a joint project between The GLOBE Program, GLOBE Africa, St. Vrain Valley Schools of Colorado, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.

During the 9-day trek to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, GLOBE students and teachers from Nigeria, Oman, South Africa, Tanzania,
and the United States will work side by side with research scientists: Mr. Sylvester Chaisamba (Research Scientist, Tanzania Meteorological Agency), Dr. Hamid Sulaiman (Scientist, Department of Biology Sultan at Qaboos University in Oman), and Mr. Yliass Lawani (Graduate Research Assistant Universite D'Abomey-Calavi, in Cotonou, Benin) to find answers to the shifting biomes and shrinking glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Dr. Erika Podest (Research Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SMAP Satellite Mission) will be conducting a webinar on 17 September to help prepare students for the virtual experience as well as the SMAP data collection field campaign, which begins on 1 October.

GLOBE Implementation Office (GIO) Director Dr. Tony Murphy will be a member of the research team this year, and will be blogging from the mountain. The 2015 Mt. Kilimanjaro Xpedition is part of GLOBE's 20th Anniversary celebration. Starting 23 September, you can follow along on the Mt. Kilimanjaro Xpedition page on the GLOBE website and the GLOBE Facebook  page.

NASA SMAP Radar Ends Operations, Mission Science Continues and SMAP Needs Your Soil Moisture Data

Artist's concept of the SMAP spacecraft.

Mission managers for NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory have determined that its radar, one of the satellite's two science instruments, can no longer return data due to an anomaly involving the radar's high-power amplifier (HPA). However, the mission continues to produce high-quality science measurements supporting SMAP's objectives with its radiometer instrument. The SMAP satellite continues normal operations, and the first data release of soil moisture products is expected in late September, with validated data planned for release in April 2016.

SMAP's radar allowed the mission's soil moisture and freeze-thaw measurements to resolve smaller regions of Earth -- about 9 kilometers for soil moisture and 3 kilometers for freeze-thaw. Without the radar, the mission's resolving power will be limited to almost 40 kilometers for soil moisture and freeze-thaw. The mission will continue to meet its requirements for soil moisture accuracy and will produce global soil moisture maps every two to three days.

The loss of the radar instrument increases the need for in situ (on the ground) soil moisture measurements by GLOBE students. Soil moisture data collection by ten or more schools within a 20 kilometer radius is particularly desirable. The SMAP team is launching a SMAP Soil Moisture Data Collection Field Campaign on 1 October 2015, preceded by a Webinar by Dr. Erika Podest, SMAP scientist, and Mr. Brian Campbell, SMAP Education Liaison, on 17 September, linking the upcoming Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition to the upcoming field campaign. Click here for more information on the webinar.

For more information, see the SMAP blog

New Special 20th Anniversary GLOBE Certificates Now Available

Special 20th Anniversary GLOBE certificate

GIO has redesigned the GLOBE Certificates and added a special 20th Anniversary Year edition. You can start using them today!

Partners and Country Coordinators: You can find these anniversary certificates by:

  • Going to
  • Clicking on the "Go to" dropdown menu on the Homepage
  • Clicking on the "Partners and CC Community"
  • Clicking on "Workshop Resources and Publications"
  • Scrolling to the bottom of the page until you locate GLOBE Certificates (the anniversary editions are located in the subfolders under "One Signature Editions" and "Two Signature Editions")

Teachers: You can find these anniversary certificates by:

  • Going to
  • Clicking on "Do GLOBE" (in the blue banner near the top)
  • Clicking on "For Teachers"
  • Clicking on "Resources"
  • Clicking on "Recognition Resources"
  • Scrolling to the bottom of the page until you locate GLOBE Certificates (the anniversary editions are located in the subfolders under "One Signature Editions" and "Two Signature Editions")

Opportunities for Students


National Park Foundation Offers "Every Kid in a Park" Pass

Open OutDoors for Kids logoOn 1 September, The U.S. National Park Foundation began offering an "Every Kid in a Park" Pass to all 4th graders and their families. This free park pass is part of a new initiative to provide the next generation of American national park visitors, supporters, and advocates the opportunity to experience and explore places that are home to this country's "natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture."

The Every Kid in a Park Pass will be good for the 2015-2016 school year (from 1 September 2015 through 31 August 2016).

NWF: Bringing Climate to the Classroom

National Wildlife Federation logo

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has unveiled a new web resource on climate change education for K-12 schools and colleges. The new site is based on the Emmy Award-winning documentary series: Years of Living Dangerously, which was created and managed by a team of former CBS 60 Minutes producers. The new site,, contains free climate-smart educational materials for middle schools, high schools, and colleges to use along with accompanying video clips.

Opportunities for Teachers


AMS Nationwide Initiative

ams Education logoThe American Meteorological Society (AMS)  DataStreme project is a nationwide initiative that provides K-12 teachers the opportunity to take a weather, ocean, or climate science course for graduate credit.


NASA Seeks High School STEM Educators for Research Initiative

NASA meatball logo

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Office of Education is seeking high school STEM educators to participate in a year-long NASA GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI).

The CCRI, which will be located in New York City at the NASA GISS, is a year-long STEM engagement opportunity for STEM educators to work direclty with NASA scientists, lead research teams, and develop STEM curriculum for their current classes. Participating educators will become associate researchers while remaining in their current teaching positions.

ICCARS Offering Webinars on Climate Change for Middle and High School Teachers


Are you an educator interested in learning and sharing about climate change and remote sensing? If so, join Michigan GLOBE Partner David Bydlowski and Andy Henry for the Wayne RESA ICCARS (Investigating Climate Change and Remote Sensing), Professional Learning Network for the 2015 - 2016 School Year.

David Bydlowski and ICCARS PLC is offering one-hour webinars, held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (ET) about climate change. Climate Voices participants will present: How Climate Models Work (14 September); The Climate System (5 October); Plant-Atmosphere Interactions in a Changing Climate (2 November); Responses of Birds to Climate Change (14 December); Long-Term Climate Effects on Human Settlements and Habitations (11 January 2016); Understanding How People Perceive Climate Change (1 February); and Climate Change: Science, Impacts, and How Individuals Can Help (2 May).

Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program Accepting Applications

AEF logoThe Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 AEF fellowship year.

The AEF Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend eleven months working in a Federal agency or in a U.S. Congressional office, bringing their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to education programs and/or education policy efforts. Applications are due 19 November at 8 p.m. EST.


EXTENDED DEADLINE: Teacher Questionnaire

Graphic showing a checkmark on a form.

The deadline for responding to the Teacher Questionnaire has been extended to 15 October! GIO is interested in learning about your success, as well as your challenges, with implementing GLOBE; the outcomes you measure (or would like to be able to measure) to assess the value of GLOBE in your classrooms; and your current level of support (or further support needed) to implement GLOBE.

The questionnaire will help us make improvements to the Program through the creation of new tools and resources that will help assure successful implementation and best possible outcomes.

If you have any questions, contact the Working Group member in your region:
The GLOBE Evaluation Working Group

Click here to access the questionnaire.

Website Alert - GLOBE Website will be "Read Only" on 19 September and 3-5 October

Graphic of a cartoon construction worker.

  • 19 September: On 19 September, all science data entered through the Training Site will be deleted and will be replaced with data from the Production Site.
  • 3-5 October: Website Upgrade

Please make a note of this and make your plans accordingly, as you will not be able to log in to the website during these time frames.

NASA Collaborates with GLOBE to Introduce Water Exploration Webinar

Cover of Elementary GLOBE

On 8 September, the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative (NASA EPDC) at Texas State University, in collaboration with The GLOBE Program, hosted a 1-hour webinar entitled, "NASA Elementary STEM Inquiry: Experiencing Water Exploration."

In this STEM inquiry-based experience, participants learned how NASA missions collect data about the water cycle. Participants explored the Elementary GLOBE resources, including teacher guides, storybooks, and related STEM activities designed for grades K-5.

Tell Us About Your GLOBE-Related STEM Learning Activities

Photo of a teacher and student working on a STEM project.

Do you do STEM activities as part of your GLOBE curriculum or trainings? If so, we'd like to hear about it - and share it with our larger community! Please email resources and links to

Tell Us About Your Favorite Apps!

There's an app for that! Did you know that there is an app that tells you when satellites are overhead? Or an app that shows weather data in a Google map interface?

Screen capture of GLOBE-related apps.

Check out GLOBE-related apps! Do you have an app for us to add to the list? If so, please email us at

Lands' End Apparel with GLOBE Logo Available through GLOBE Materials Shop

Lands' End logo

Did you know that you can find a wide variety of Lands' End men's and women's apparel and promotional products through the GLOBE Materials shop? Lands' End Business Outfitters is offering a storefront that is designed to make shopping easier - and will add the GLOBE logo to your purchases. Satisfaction guaranteed! You can see what's in store by:

  • Going to
  • Clicking on "Order GLOBE Apparel and Promotional Items" (bottom right column)

You can click on "Shopper Resources and Guidelines" for full instructions on how to order. And once you place an order, you will receive emails for savings on future orders (including free logo application and free shipping).

Upcoming 2015 GLOBE Teacher Training Workshops

Map of Earth showing locations of webinars.

Upcoming GLOBE teacher training workshops include:

  • Anniston, Alabama, USA (JSU Pre-Service 2015): 11-15 September (open to teachers in the region)
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA (Tom Barnes Education Center): 16-18 September (open to teachers in the region)
  • Maumee, Ohio, USA (Xcite Learning): 01-02 October (open to all teachers)
  • Reading, Pennsylvania, USA (Environmental Exploration Center at Angelica Park): 12 October (open to all teachers)
  • Wayne, Michigan, USA (Wayne RESA): 15 October - 11 November (open to all teachers)
  • Pierre, South Dakota, USA (South Dakota Discovery Center): 24-25 October (open to all teachers)
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA (University of Arkansas STEM Center): 14 November (open to all teachers)


Congratulations to the 6 GLOBE countries celebrating anniversaries of successful GLOBE implementation during the month of September:

Chad - 20 years
27 September 1995

Bulgaria - 17 years
08 September 1998

Thailand - 16 years
30 September 1999

Qatar - 15 years
27 September 2000

Saudi Arabia - 13 years
30 September 2002

Taiwan - 2 years
06 September 2013

Connect With Us

The GLOBE Program depends on you to let us know what is happening in your regions, countries, communities and classrooms. Send us news you would like to share with the GLOBE Community and we'll include it in next month's News Brief. Be sure to include photos, too.

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News Brief Archive

Archive logo

Past issues of the GLOBE News Brief and letters from Dr. Tony Murphy to the GLOBE community can be found in the online archive.

News Topics: News Briefs type: globe-news

News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office