3 min read

Meet a Citizen Scientist: Jeffrey R. Bouwman


Jeffrey Bouwman
(Image Courtesy of Jeffrey Bouwman)

Grosse Ile, Michigan

What do you study?

Shumate Middle School Citizen Scientists are measuring soil moisture for NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite campaign — soil, surface, and current air temperatures, clouds, precipitation, and taking various integrated hydrology (water temperature, pH, nitrate, dissolved oxygen and conductivity) measurements. We are also part of the Aerokats and Rover Education Network (AREN) Project. Our students are taking environmental measurements remotely via kites, high definition cameras, and weather stations. We will soon begin taking hydrology measurements remotely with remote controlled boats. Finally, Shumate is also proud to be taking tree height (biometry) measurements to help The GLOBE Program beta test a new environmental ground truthing measurement protocol for the ICESat-2 satellite that is scheduled to be launched in 2018. All of our measurements are shared with The GLOBE Program and NASA.

Why do you do citizen science?

It is my job to provide real world learning opportunities and to encourage my students to take a closer look at our planet. I believe we need more informed citizen scientists in this world. My personal mission statement is simple, #GettingScienceDone. We are #GettingScienceDone at Shumate Middle School!

What’s your day job?

I am a sixth and seventh grade science teacher and the Shumate Robotics coach at Shumate Middle School (Gibraltar School District) in Gibraltar, Michigan. The 2017 to 2018 school year marks my third year working at Shumate. I am also a science education and educational technology adjunct professor at the University of Michigan - Dearborn.

Favorite contribution you’ve made

My favorite citizen science contribution happened in 2016 when I was awarded a Youth Learning As Citizen Environmental Scientists (YLACES) Invited Grant to purchase the first WeatherSTEM weather station in the state of Michigan. In September 2016, the Gibraltar School District WeatherSTEM weather station went live. Our weather station provides the Gibraltar School District learning community with hyperlocal real time weather data (current temperature, wind speed, rain rate, soil moisture, etc.). Weather information is readily available via social media (Gibraltar School District WeatherSTEM Facebook and Gibraltar Schools Wx Twitter) pages and a mobile app, and a cloud camera captures sky images to create a daily time lapse cloud video showcasing the sky and cloud conditions over Marauder Stadium from the day before. The system also provides our students with weather learning modules, data mining, and coding applications. This partnership with YLACES and WeatherSTEM is significant to me as our weather station sends atmospheric data to the GLOBE Program daily, and I believe it makes our community more informed and safe.

Jeffrey Bouwman
Jeffrey Bouwman