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Letter to the Community

December 2014

Dear Friends,

You've been reading about the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) international satellite mission in various GLOBE communications for the past several months. The GPM international satellite, launched in February 2014, is circling the globe this very minute, providing global precipitation maps to assist researchers in studying global climate, improving the forecasting of extreme events, and adding to current capabilities for using such satellite data to benefit society. Now you too can participate in the GPM field campaign, which will take place 1 February through mid-April 2015. In this field campaign, students will use their GLOBE rain gauge to collect precipitation data and, in the process, learn why data are so important, how to retrieve data and use it to answer investigation questions, and how satellite data is used to study natural hazards and extreme events.

Here a few of the opportunities that will be available to you:

  • A scientist from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Dr. Tiffany Moisan, will post frequent updates including her analysis of the worldwide data contributed by schools.
  • A series of blogs will be posted starting on 12 January, with scientists and engineers describing their research and how they became interested in STEM fields. Blogs will be located here.
  • A discussion board will allow educators to share ways to use citizen science, GPM data, and NASA activities with students, and other related contents. Start by clicking on Latest Mission Updates here.
  • A roster of webinars that will inform teachers how to participate in the campaign is available here. Information about how to register for the webinars will be added to the page soon.

More information about GPM, including information on how to participate, a profile of the STEM team and other useful links can be found on the GPM Overview page.

Next Up: SMAP!

Another outstanding opportunity for the GLOBE community will begin when the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, roughly the size of a small school bus, will be hurled into space on 29 January 2015. It is designed to produce global maps showing the moisture content of the top five centimeters of soil every three days.

Among the users of SMAP data will be hydrologists, weather forecasters, climate scientists, agricultural and water resource managers, fire hazard and flood disaster managers, disease control and prevention managers, emergency planners and policy makers... and GLOBE students who will be forming research projects around their own data collection on the ground.

What exciting times as GLOBE students continue to contribute directly to scientific research on a global scale through these satellite missions! Visit the GLOBE website in January to learn about how GLOBE will celebrate the launch of this important satellite mission, as well as information about how you can become involved.

Before moving on to reader-specific news, I would like to thank all teachers who encouraged their students to enter the GLOBE Student Art Competition to illustrate the 2015 GLOBE Calendar with a satellite theme. The calendar is nearing completion and will be available soon on the GLOBE website

2015 GLOBE Calendar submission
2015 Calendar Art Competition Entry by student Akshita Thapliyal of the Indira Ideal Sr. Secondary School. Student of GLOBE teacher Mrs. Poonam Das.
 "The art shows the SOIL MOISTURE ACTIVE PASSIVE (SMAP) Satellite Mission and the way it helps the farmers of drought and flood prone area by collecting local data. Thus it helps in improving agriculture which is vital to the health and sustainability of our community and environment."


News for the Community



In addition to the campaigns noted above, we invite you to recruit other scientists to become part of the GLOBE International Scientist Network (GISN). The GISN is an international network of scientists who work with GLOBE students and teachers, present scientific ideas, and/or collaborate on scientific research. Each relationship between a scientist and a GLOBE school is unique, and is determined by the scientist and the school. For more information about the network, click here. (

Science Working Group

In addition, the Science Working Group continues to work on your behalf. Please contact the representative from your region to learn more about the group and if you have topics that you would like the group to discuss. Click here to locate your representative or the chair of the group.


Nepal Partner Awarded Nature Conservation Award

Congratulations to Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) in Nepal, a GLOBE Partner, that was awarded the Nature Conservation Award on 6 Dec 2014, by the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology on the occasion of the Academy's 32nd anniversary. Congratulations to ECCA for more than 27 years of developing student leadership in environmental conservation and organizing conservation programs in schools, including the Water Classroom in Shree Yashodhara Bauddha Secondary, a GLOBE school in Lalitpur, Nepal.

The concept of the Water Classroom came from many years of GLOBE implementation in Nepali schools. To learn more about the Water Classroom, which has become a model in the region for the education of students, teachers, and the general public about water and sanitation, click here.

Check Your Workshop Status

As the end of the calendar year wraps up, it would be good to double check on your workshops and make sure that they have the correct status. If you are unsure of the status of any of the workshops, you should check the Workshop Administration tool under your Control Panel. Remember, if you have completed a workshop and not marked it as such, the teachers you have trained will not have the correct status. If you have any questions about this, please contact the Community Support team at

A Very Important Reminder Regarding the Partner Survey

Now is the time of the year when all partners are asked to complete the GLOBE Annual Partner Survey. This survey is extremely important as the information helps GIO and the Program sponsors to consider the state of the Program and the community, how we are meeting our strategic goals, and how to move the Program forward. The survey, FOR PARTNERS ONLY, is currently open for you to complete and will close on 30 January 2015.


Review the Teacher's Guide. And Help Improve It!

NASA is sponsoring an effort to make the GLOBE Teacher's Guide more easily searchable and navigable. In support of this effort, we are seeking experienced GLOBE teachers to review and comment on the updated guide in order to fine-tune the work before it goes live. As we work on each section, we seek assistance from teachers familiar with areas of GLOBE atmosphere, hydrology, etc., to comment on the new format of the guide, in hopes that the new Teacher's Guide will better serve the GLOBE community.

The review process will be carried out online, allowing you to work at your own pace over a period of several weeks.  No travel is required.  A stipend will be offered to compensate you for your time.  Work on each section will occur serially over the next ~4 months, with a goal of publicly unveiling the new guide at the GLOBE North American regional meeting in March of 2015.

Interested teachers should apply for this opportunity by completing the GLOBE Teachers Guide Review Application (If you are unable to navigate to the application through the hyperlink, please cut and past the following link into your internet search bar -

Distinguished Educator Fellowship

The GLOBE Distinguished Educator Fellowship application period has ended. GIO will now process the applications and will announce the recipients of the fellowship In January. There will be another opportunity to apply for this fellowship next year.

Exciting New Online Tool Promotes International Collaboration

A new collaboration tool will be available shortly. Raytheon and GIO have worked together to develop this tool, which will allow you and your students to easily locate other GLOBE schools around the world to collaborate with on projects. This tool should be available by next week and an announcement will be sent to you all when it is on the website.



As we get close to the end of the calendar year, let's pause and reflect on how important 2014 has been for GLOBE. More partners have joined the Program; stronger ties have been established with NASA satellite missions; the website continues to progress; the number of data have increased; new Working Groups are in place and functioning; more scientists have joined the GISN; a successful GLE was held in India; and the calendar competition has been concluded. All wonderful in and of themselves, and when added together, show a growing and vibrant community. Next year, I challenge us all to do more with GLOBE, as this is a highly significant year for the Program: a 20th anniversary marking data entry and community involvement. In my next letter, I will share with you some of the plans for this special occasion starting on Earth Day 2015.
Until then, Happy New Year to you all and thank you for all you do for GLOBE.




Tony Murphy signature
Dr. Tony Murphy  
Director, GLOBE Implementation Office

News Topics: Community Letters type: globe-news

News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office