GLOBE races to measure ground cover before goats eat research
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GLOBE races to measure landcover before goats eat
Rostov-on-Don, July 31, 1998: Wednesday, day 4, was again a hot one in southern Russia. Day 4 of the GLOBE workshop saw temperatures again over 38 deg. C (100 deg. F). Our day began with a tour of the Rostov Catherdral in the central part of the city. It was both beautiful and breathtaking. The incense was heavy as many of our group light candles to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of travel in the Russian Orthodox Church. We marveled at the painted ceilings and panels with their numerous icons. A small service at a minor altar took place as we watched. It was a memorable experience for all.
Right: Alabama GLOBE director Greg Cox instructs teachers in the use of a GPS receiver.
Our excusion then continued to the Rostov Natural History Museum. We were treated to a private showing of the golden treasures from Tanis, a bronze-age city on the Azov Sea shore near Rostov. This city is noted as being the farthest northern ancient Greek city. We were amazed at the beauty of the collection. Also at the museum was a special collection on loan from St. Petersburg. We had our photos taken with Peter the Great, Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev and President Yeltsin. These wax figures were so lifelike, they too were sweating in the Rostov summer heat!
A note on the pictures: Each links to a larger JPG up to 1152 pixels wide and from 100K to 1.1M in size. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Our bus then delivered us to the café near the university for lunch. We again sampled beef, pork and sturgeon with a cold cucumber soup. The GLOBE workshop then continued with an overview of remote sensing basics. Our afternoon also included a guided tour of the GLOBE website. Many of the participants, both Russian and American had not been exposed to such a sophisticated website. As Greg Cox lead tour of the site in the Rostov State University's Computer Center with the aid of their computer video projector, the participants were able to follow on individual workstations provided by the Center.
The bus picked us up at the end of the day and took us to "our place," the small estaurant we have eaten at almost every evening. The day ended with a cool breeze that foretold tomorrow's weather.
|This is the third in a series of stories about a weeklong American-Russian workhop 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.|
Day 5 began with a wonderful rain shower. As our bus arrived at the Instiute of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics, the rain was a perfect introduction to our discussion of the GLOBE atmosphere protocols. Unfortunately, this shower was too brief and did little to dampen the rise in temperatures later in the day. The Russian and American teachers taught each other atmospheric vocabulary words in their native language and we all shared a good laugh as we discussed the GLOBE snow measurement protocol, wishing we could actually sample such an event today. The cloudy "oblaka" skies soon turned to clear "yasno" and the day continued to warm.
We also were introduced to the GLOBE land cover protocols. Using a Landsat thematic mapper image of the Rostov-on-Don region as a guide, we saw the fields around the Institute turn into pixels. We began to construct our land cover analysis tools using materials brought from America. The U.S. teachers were asked to bring two empty toilet paper rolls "uncrushed" on their trek to Russia. They and their Russian colleages were amazed that such a useful device as a densiometer for making canopy cover estimates could be make from these materials. The Russian and American teachers worked side-by-side constructing both the densiometers and clinometers from drinking straws, dental floss and metal washers. Who said trigonometry isn't fun??
We traveled to "our place" again for lunch this time. We enjoyed a Rostov version of borsh, mashed potatoes, meat balls and chocolate ice cream. Afer lunch our bus took us to the Rostov Botanical Gardens. This 1000 hectare garden is over 70 years old and served as our land cover and atmosphere training site.
We divided into two teams and took off in different directions. One group made their way to a woodland area (MUC 1211) and shared it with a small herd of goats who did not seem to care that they were eating away at the ground cover before we could get an accurate percentage measurement. The second group found a grassland area (MUC 4212) near a small spring. The spring was a gathering site for many of the local Rostov residents who come to receive the blessing of St. Sophia at the spring. These Rostovites were intrigued by this strange group of Russian and American teachers using a GPS receiver to locate the center of their landcover 30x30 meter study site.
We all regrouped on the steps of the Botanical Garden Administration Building to drink cold water and "kvas," a Russian drink made from black bread. A quick check of our U-tube thermometer in the instrument shelter showed a temperature of 37 deg. C (98.6 deg. F). This was the end of our 5th hot, hot day in Rostov!
Comments from Russian GLOBE teachers
This Workshop give us the possibility to learn
different methods of environmental investigation (the methods
for testing natural substances as well as computer result entering
procedures and others). That knowledge we've got on GLOBE classes
we would forward to our students. This will let the children
realize the great importance of our common efforts for the benefit
of environment and feel the responsibility for the Earth. It's
very important we have the opportunity to work in the open air
(river and sea beaches, gardens ...) I'm enjoying the communication
with the American colleagues.
Evgenia Morozova, School# 77, Rostov-on-Don.
I'm very happy to participate the Program
that units all the World. It's very important we have the opportunity
to compare our results with the results of other cities and even
countries. It attaches the special importance to children investigations
and at the same time it raises their responsibility for the regular
and accurate data collecting process. I like very much the American
side preparation for the theoretical and practical parts of this
Workshop. It would be fine to have a Russian copy of the Teacher
Guide Book. We feel the great enthusiasm when communicate with
Americans. They are spontaneous and open people, they are quit
ready to international collaboration.
Tatiana Kalmykova, School #100, Rostov-on-Don
The GLOBE Workshop give us the excellent opportunity
to make our knowledge about scientific methods for environment
broader and deeper. The GLOBE investigations look very accessible
and interesting for the children of different ages. Especially
I want to point the high professional level of our GLOBE Teacher
- Mr.Gregory Cox. His classes are very interesting and quit clear.
He is an emotional and experienced teacher. With a great pleasure
I'll participate this program in Russia. We hope we will make
the partnership between Russian and American schools (the teachers
- Mrs.Susan Gregory and Mrs.Kelly Kelly). The GLOBE experience
allows us to find out the new possibility of communication and
data exchange between the students from the different parts of
the World. We can see the results of student activities both
from Russia and USA.
Natalia Ivanova, School #23, Rostov-on-Don
There are many books related to nature, environment
and ecological statistic in Russia. But Russian teachers very
often needs the systematic stuff and equipment for their classes.
It was very useful we had detailed practical recommendations
at GLOBE seminar how to prepare and do each test. All problems
have been solved during the practical learning. I would like
to be in touch with the colleagues who are participating GLOBE
in America. I graduated from the Rostov State University and
teach geography and environment now. We have environmental club
at our school where we learn some ecological problem of Rostov
region. I would like to contact with the geography teacher from
USA who are interested in environment. I guess the GLOBE program
will be very fruitful and bring the great benefit to the people
of our Planet.
Ludmila Kubrakova., School #103, Rostov-on-Don
This Workshop gave the unique opportunity
to Russian teachers to have a practical experience related to
environmental investigation. We have learned also the different
ways for organization and transformation of collected data. Besides
we've learned the unknown (for Russians) methods of environmental
investigation. It's very important to note the very high quality
of classes and practical study. First there were the theoretical
material (introductory information, some basic principals of
measurements, description of previous test results) and then
we worked at the open air in order to improve our theoretical
knowledge. All the protocols were very clear and well organized.
The experience we had got we would use both at school and clubs
environmental activities. The comparative approach in testing
technology is very interesting and important. We have investigated
different natural objects (the rivers and the sea) and then compared
the results. Also we had the opportunity to make discussion,
to exchange personal impressions, to tell each others what was
especially important and interesting. I guess the language barrier
is the only shortage of our Workshop activity.
Vladimir Zhinzhilo, School #97, Rostov-on-Don
This Workshop was given us the opportunity:
to become acquainted with GLOBE equipment and leaned much how
to use these tools to do the measures by ourselves to make new
friendships and find new partners for the further work.
Michael Khanin, Rostov State Pedagogical University
I'm very grateful for the Workshop. The water
testing research was especially interested for me. I've learned
how to use the Internet. I've found my partner school info via
Internet and got interesting data.
Olga Zhilevich, School #43, Rostov-on-Don
It was great luck to participate this Workshop
and communicate with American colleagues. I'm very happy my school
will participate GLOBE and get the opportunity to use the GLOBE
data and compare them with ours. It's very important to learn
new practical methods and use modern tools to nature observations.
Larisa Kheilo, School #13, Azov
I understand that GLOBE is very timely and
useful both for the teachers and the students. Basically the
impressions are positive: the Workshop is well organized, the
participants are opened to communication. I wish: the Workshop
takes longer time (the scientific and practical program is too
busy), and don't choose not such hot month to hold the seminar.
Elena Bakaeva, School #37, Rostov-on-Don
We live in time when information is the most
important resource. One of the famous scientist said: "Those
who own the information own the World". The GLOBE program
gives us the opportunity to share this information together.
That is why we own the whole World together. The most important
is that GLOBE information is about nature. The Earth is the only
home for all of us. We must keep our common home a healthy home
and we will do it through GLOBE or other environmental programs
because we are working together.
Natasha Petkova, School "Finist", Rostov-on-Don
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
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