Students arrive at Obonjan Island in Croatia for
a day of GLOBE field measurements. (photo by Jack Fellows)
Jack has since left Washington to become the UCAR vice
president for corporate affairs and director of UCARs Office
of Programs. But in an interesting turn of events, he finds himself
once more involved with GLOBE.
Thats because UCAR, in a major accomplishment,
has won the contract to manage GLOBE. Beginning 1 October, UCARin
collaboration with Colorado State Universitywill assume primary
responsibility for developing and overseeing the program.
Its very ironic, says Jack, who is
serving as the interim executive director of GLOBE until a permanent
executive director is hired in the next few months.
Students in GLOBE learn about science and the environment
by taking regular observations of weather and other natural events
and posting them on the Internet. Their reports eventually provide
a unique data set on the local atmosphere, hydrology, soils, and land
cover. In all, the program enlists teachers and students from 12,000
primary and secondary schools in the United States and more than 100
GLOBE began as a multiagency effort based largely in
NOAA. Over the years, NASAs share of funding for GLOBE increased,
and when NOAAs support was cut from its budget in fiscal year
2002, NASA picked up the reins. Through a competition overseen by
NASA, the UCAR-CSU management team was chosen this spring over more
than a dozen other groups for a renewable five-year term. UCAR was
able to make a strong case because of the institutions scientific
and education expertise and because several UCAR offices, including
the Joint Office for Science Support had worked on GLOBE projects.
NASA looks forward to working with UCAR to grow
and strengthen the program, said GLOBEs NASA program manager,
Dixon Butler, in a recent interview.
Transition activities will unfold throughout the summer.
Jack expects to hire about a half-dozen staffers to manage the program.
Veteran staffers will also play a major role, including Margaret Peggy
LeMone of the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division, who will
be chief scientist; Paula Robinson of JOSS, who will be the executive
administrator; and Sandra Henderson of Education & Outreach, who
will serve as education program manager.
The new GLOBE team will also call on the skills of
CSUs Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, which
will handle data distribution and oversee the GLOBE Web site, and
CSUs Center for Science, Math, and Technology Education, which
will assist with educational activities.
Jacks goals include strengthening the involvement
of schools, communities, and countries that participate in the program,
and creating regional GLOBE offices around the world. Our vision
is to get countries more involved in guiding the program and to improve
teacher training, he explains. We want to not only keep
the program as good as its been but to make it better.
Jack and other members of the new GLOBE team went to
Croatia in late June to participate in whats called a GLOBE
Learning Expedition. Students and teachers from 24 countries spent
six days conducting field campaigns and presenting scientific results.
It was an amazing experience, Jack recalls, to see
so many different cultures come together focused on the same goals
of learning about science, increasing environmental awareness, and
creating the next generation of leaders.
for the program
While GLOBEs new managers are pondering new directions
and ways to enhance funding, theyre intent on keeping what works
well in the programincluding its enthusiastic cadre of teachers
and students. Retention is going to be really important,
says Peggy, who will be working quarter-time on GLOBE. Rather than
drumming up large numbers of new participants, she says, the new team
plans to focus on improving support to those already trained.
Likewise, the emphasis will be on working to strengthen
existing protocols for data gathering rather than generating new protocols.
Peggy got a first-hand look at how hydrologic data are collected when
she sampled a train-the-trainer workshop in June near
Colorado Springs. The protocols are pretty sophisticated,
she says. As a scientist, I was impressed.
Although she has been active in K12 education
efforts for many years, Peggys only previous involvement with
GLOBE was sitting on an advisory committee when the program began.
But her work in boundary-layer processes and land-atmosphere exchange
in Kansas convinced her of the value of GLOBE-style data. One
of the things thats really critical is to know what the land
cover is, she says. Satellite imagery helps, but you really
need ground verification. GLOBE uses a modified version of a
land-classification system developed by the United Nations. Its
tractable for kids, she says, and the data can make a real difference.
The scientific journal articles [based on GLOBE
data] are just starting to come out, she says. I think,
with patience, we can get these data used by more scientists.
A side benefit to having thousands of children taking
millions of readings is the program serves as a mass beta-test. On
occasion, GLOBE will go back to a manufacturer with recommendations
for improving an instrument, Peggy says. Some companies now
tout certain instruments as being GLOBE-certified.
Sandra, who will oversee GLOBEs online courses,
says her goal is to provide both teachers and students with additional
instruction and support.
In the past, most of GLOBEs partner and teacher
training had been handled via traditional face-to-face workshops The
online courses are intended to keep more GLOBE-trained teachers active
in the program and perhaps re-enthuse those who become inactive,
Jack and others on the new GLOBE team hope that many
UCAR staff, as well as both faculty and students at member universities,
will get involved in the GLOBE program. It was clear from talking
to the country leaders at the GLOBE Learning Expedition that the program
is having a significant positive impact around the world in improving
science education and environmental awareness, Jack says.
Mindful of the programs somewhat politicized
origin as a White House initiative, GLOBEs managersboth
past and presenttake special care to focus on science-based
goals. However, Peggy notes, the implicit goal of making students
more environmentally savvy is something that transcends politics.
We hope to help raise a generation of children, she says,
who are sufficiently aware of the environment to be aware of
its fragility, to be aware of our impact, and to act accordingly.
Bob Henson and David Hosansky
Some members of the new GLOBE team
Jack Fellows (UOP), interim executive director
Edward Geary (CSU), chief educator
Peggy LeMone (MMM), chief scientist
Karyn Sawyer (JOSS), interim international program director
David Brown (DHB Associates), chief technologist and senior advisor
Peggy Finarelli, Washington representative
Cliff Matsumoto (CSU), system director
Paula Robinson (JOSS), executive administrator
Debra Krumm (CSU), science program manager
Sandra Henderson (EO), education program manager