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GLOBE to train U.S., Russian teachers

Space course adds study of global environment

July 23, 1998: A team of 19 American teachers soon will leave for Rostov-on-Don to spend a week with 15 Russian teachers and three Russia-based Peace Corps volunteers to extend the reach of scientists taking the pulse of the world.

Right: Teachers take water measurements and samples during an Alabama GLOBE workshop.

The workshop will be one of the key activities in the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program introduced in April 1994 by U.S. Vice President Al Gore. GLOBE is a worldwide network of K-12 (or equivalent) students working under the guidance of teachers trained to conduct the GLOBE Program.

Through GLOBE, students are taught how to take accurate global environmental measurements and enter them into the GLOBE data base using the Internet. Measurements include water and air temperatures, cloud type and percent cloud cover, rainfall quantity and acidity, water conductivity and transparency, land cover type and detailed soil analysis. They also are taught that accuracy and consistency are key to their measurements, otherwise the data will be useless.

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They also learn in a "minds on" as well as "hands on" approach to earth science.

The Rostov workshop will also be an international first of sorts. The GLOBE in Alabama franchise will be the first to take U.S. teachers to another nation for joint training with teachers there.

Left: Cox (right) directs students at the start of a trek to remap portions of a old golf course in northeast Alabama. Many of these techniques are included in the GLOBE activities that teachers will learn

"I believe that this is the first time that a GLOBE franchise has gone to another country and conducted a joint training program," said Gregory Cox of the Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC) and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Previously, international GLOBE workshops have been held on a government-to-government level and have been strictly train-the-trainer workshops.


Tune in next week for daily notes and photographs from Greg Cox during the GLOBE program


Web Links

GLOBE national home page
Alabama GLOBE program
GHCC Education activities include EcoBridge, Project Earth Sense, and other activities.
Geographic Information Systems Technologies Center at Rostov State University will host most of the GLOBE activities.
Students "explore" ancient site with aid of modern navigation and pictures (GHCC education project using remote sensing)

More science headlines - NASA space science research

 The GLOBE in Alabama franchise was established in 1997 at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The franchise's activities include holding workshops to train teachers who then instruct their students in the GLOBE program measurement protocols.

"This is the first time that NASA, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, and UAH have teamed up with the Russian GLOBE program to conduct a workshop for both Russian and American teachers," Cox said.

Cox, a UAH research scientist on loan to Marshall's Education Programs Office, said UAH's role came about through its teacher education courses in the Russian and American space program. For the past eight years, the UAH Exploring Space Program has conducted short summer courses that include visits to previously secret Russian space facilities like the launch sites at Baikonur in Kazakhstan, Mission Control at Korolev (formerly Kaliningrad), and cosmonaut training facilities at Star City, outside of Moscow.

The two-week program consists of more than 60 hours of presentations, classes, on-site inspections, lectures, science workshops and other activities associated with the Soviet/Russian space program and Russian educational practices.

Left: The basics of atmospheric sciences are taught to teachers in a GLOBE workshop in Huntsville.

"This in-service program offers U.S. teachers a unique opportunity to explore first-hand the Russian space program and science education and their contributions to the world's achievements in science and technology," said Dr. John Pottenger, director of the UAH Exploring Space programs.

"This year," said Cox, "Pottenger and I decided to have a bit more of an environmental focus and included GLOBE."

The teachers will spend their first week in Rostov-on-Don (the proper name of the city; Rostov is the province - or in Russian - the oblast), a city of more than 1.5 million. Rostov-on-Don is a key transportation center in southern Russia and is a manufacturing and agricultural center. Most of the city is on the north bank of the Don River, the fourth largest river in Russia, and is about 50 km (30 miles) from the Azov Sea which empties into the Black Sea. The south bank of the Don is largely parks and agriculture.

The program will be taught simultaneously in English, by Cox, and in Russian, by Dr. Feodor Surkov, Rostov State University's GLOBE director and deputy director of the Institute of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics at RSU. In addition to class lectures, the teachers will receive field training on the banks of the Don, the shores of the Azov Sea, and in the wheat and sunflower fields around Rostov-on-Don.

"These teachers will be certified to go back into the classroom and help their students start collecting data," Cox said. "This is not a 'train the trainer' course. We're taking U.S. and Russian teachers introducing them to the GLOBE program, and then sending them all back to work with their students and with each other."

Rostov-on-Don GLOBE schedule

Saturday, 7/25: Arrive, Moscow. Sightseeing. Depart for Rostov

Sunday, 7/26: Rostov State University Geographical Information Systems Technologies Center. Meet Russian participants. Earth System Science and GPS lectures.

Monday, 7/27: Hydrology lecture; practice hydrology protocols at Azov Sea shore.

Tuesday, 7/28: Soil lecture, practice protocols in field and laboratory
Wednesday, 7/29: Archaeology at Tanais; remote sensing overview and multispectral software; GLOBE computer web site access and practice

Thursday, 7/30: Land cover and biology lectures and field protocols; atmospheric science lectures and field protocols

Friday, 7/31: Field assignments along banks of Don River; evaluation, farewell party

Saturday, 8/1: Depart for Moscow and rest of program

U.S. participants in GLOBE at Rostov

  • April Bates (grades 1-2), Bryan Elementary School, Morris, Ala.
  • Sandra Childrey (8), West Middle School, Mt. Gilead, N.C.
  • Janice Cohen (6), Woodbury Middle School, Woodbury, Conn.
  • Sherrill Durand (8), Cleburne Elementary School, Heflin, Ala.
  • Mrs. Jerry Lee Eastwood (6), Fairfax Elementary School, Valley, Ala.
  • Susan Gregory (8), Pennbrook Middle School, North Wales, Penn.
  • Tina Hall (4&6), Randolph School, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Becky Hollingsworth (7), Pizitiz Middle School, Vestavia Hills, Ala.
  • Willene Huddleston (2), Cleburne County Elementary School, Heflin, Ala.
  • Debbie Jones (4), Western Heights Elementary School, Eufala, Ala.
  • Kenneth Kakasuleff (4), Frankton Elementary School, Frankton, Ill
  • Kelly Kelly (7), Pennbrook Middle School, North Wales, Penn.
  • Carol Kraus (K), Natchaug Elementary School, Willimantic, Conn.
  • Jennifer Lockett (7), Corpus Christie Catholic School, Mobile, Ala.
  • Carol McCaffrey (10-11), Victory Valley Union High School, Victorville, Calif.
  • Nancy McIntyre (9), Chaminade College Preparatory School, West Hills, Calif.
  • Elizabeth Orr (2), Eastside Elementary School, Dalton, Ga.
  • Joyce Stemple (6-8, computers), Colonial Middle School, Norristown, Penn.
  • Cheryle Wallace (6), Leach Elementary School, Anderson, Ind.

Additional GLOBE information

GLOBE students make a core set of environmental observations at or near their schools; report their data through the Internet to a GLOBE data processing facility; receive and use global images created from worldwide GLOBE school data; and study global environmental topics in their classrooms. More than 5,000 schools in 70 countries participate in the GLOBE Program.

GLOBE students have reported more than one million science observations about the atmosphere, hydrology, landcover/geology, and soils. These data are used by GLOBE students and scientists to support global environmental research and other environmental science programs. Environmental scientists from many nations have participated in selecting GLOBE environmental measurements, developing measurement procedures, and ensuring overall quality control of data.

Age-appropriate GLOBE educational materials have been developed by international environmental educators for use in GLOBE schools. GLOBE teachers receive special training on teaching the measurement procedures, using GLOBE images as instructional materials, participating in GLOBE using Internet/World Wide Web technology, and creating partnerships among students at GLOBE schools around the world. Broad international participation is integral to the design of the GLOBE Program.

GLOBE international partners sign bilateral agreements with the U.S. for schools in their country to participate in the program. In the U.S., GLOBE is administered by a Federal interagency team that includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Education and State, working together with over 50 state and local partner organizations (franchises).

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