From the "Guest" Director

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Tony Murphy

On occasion, the Pulse will be featuring special program highlights written by UCP directors. This month’s highlight is written by Tony Murphy, GLOBE Director.

Dear UCAR/UCP Friends,

Twenty Years A-Growing, the title of a well-known Irish memoir, could very well be used to describe The GLOBE Program, as 2015 marks its 20th Anniversary on Earth Day, April 22. This is a milestone in many ways….20 years of Earth science data collection by K-12 citizen scientists; 20 years of earth science education by committed educators; 20 years of a worldwide community dedicated to improving students’ understanding of local and global environments….and all still growing. 

GLOBE’s mission is simple: to promote the teaching and learning of science; enhance environmental literacy and stewardship; and promote scientific discovery for young people, through development of a K-12 Earth Science curriculum implemented worldwide. The program expanded rapidly in a world hungry for high quality Earth science instruction ensured by NASA, NOAA, and NSF sponsorship.

Now twenty years a-growing, GLOBE has expanded to a worldwide community of students, teachers, and scientists in more than 100 countries, collaborating on inquiry-based investigations of the environment and the Earth system. In the GLOBE section of this newsletter, you can find details about many of the events and new products (including our new mobile app for data collection) that the GLOBE Implementation Office (GIO) has planned for our Anniversary Year. In addition, events are being planned independently by our regional offices, country coordinators, partners, and schools in The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, India, Estonia and Tanzania… and the list keeps growing.

I would like to invite you, the UCP and UCAR Community, to become involved with GLOBE too. I’d like to encourage you to join the GLOBE International Scientist Network (GISN). This is your chance to

  • mentor GLOBE students and teachers throughout the world;
  • engage with students in collaboration on your scientific research, or theirs;
  • share a blog post about your current research; or
  • assist in a GLOBE classroom in person or virtually.

The relationship is full of potential. You can engage with students here at home or in a part of the world that interests you. You’ll feel good to be a role model to students who hunger for the real-world opinions of working scientists – and you can certainly use the GLOBE database for use in your own environmental research. See the current GISN member list here. It won’t be long before you are hooked on GLOBE.

Aside from our anniversary celebrations, 2015 is turning out to be a very exciting year for GLOBE because of our new partnerships with satellite missions, initially focused on NASA. You’re probably aware of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite that was launched in on January 31, 2015. SMAP measures the moisture in the top 5 cm (2 inches) of soil over the entire planet every three days. On Earth, having determined when the satellite is overhead by entering their GPS coordinates and finding the flyover time, GLOBE students are taking their own soil moisture measurements simultaneously on the ground. In doing so, students are able contribute to data collection and analysis for a NASA satellite mission. Imagine how exciting that is to kids in California, Cameroon, or India! SMAP is only the latest of several NASA satellites with which GLOBE has developed a partnership. The CloudSat, GMP and Calipso missions are also engaging GLOBE students and making an impact on their lives.

GIO is excited about these and many other activities we have in store over the next few months. The 20th Anniversary, beginning on Earth Day 2015, marks an important milestone for the Program. It is a cause for reflection and celebration and a time for me to invite you to explore ways to become involved. Start by joining our mailing list for news and opportunities. Or give me a call, and let’s chat.

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Dr. Tony Murphy


About UCP

The UCAR Community Programs provide innovative resources, tools, and services in support of the research and education goals of the atmospheric and Earth system sciences community.

A major focus for UCP is making sure the science from NCAR and UCAR institutions is translated in novel ways to a variety of audiences and stakeholders.

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