National Science Foundation
GLOBE Program Heads in New Directions
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GLOBE students using a rain gauge to measure precipitation.

Credit: Ed Geary, UCAR
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In the past decade, the NASA-NSF-sponsored Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program has engaged over a million elementary and secondary students from 109 countries in the process of doing scientific inquiry.  GLOBE students and teachers have been trained to collect high-quality scientific measurements related to water, soil, atmosphere, phenology and land cover, and to share their data with other students and scientists around the world. 

In 2006, the GLOBE program began to shift its emphasis from student data collection to student data use, analysis, and application to local and regional environmental problems.  NSF funded four new GLOBE projects that will allow students, educators and community groups to work together with scientists engaged in large, integrated earth system science research projects.   The four projects concern the carbon cycle and climate change (PI: Scott Ollinger, University of New Hampshire, with the North American Carbon Cycle program), seasons and biomes (PI: Elena Sparrow, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the International Arctic Research Center), watershed dynamics (PI: Daniel Edelson, Northwestern University, with the Consortium of Universities for Advancement of Hydrologic Science), and from local to extreme environments (PI: Elizabeth Goehring, Pennsylvania State University, with the RIDGE 2000 and InterRIDGE programs).  As one of the first activities for these new projects, the GLOBE program office at UCAR is facilitating the first “Pole to Pole” video conference and Web chat linking International Polar Year scientists with students in the Arctic and Antarctica.

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