The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently launched a new three-year Citizen Science Programme of work. One of its key components is the GLOBE Programme. This is a two-year pilot programme, which will be managed by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, in partnership with the EPA.

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Programme is an international science and education programme that connects students, teachers and scientists to better understand, sustain and improve the Earth’s environment. Since 1995, more than 30,000 schools in 120 countries have participated in GLOBE. In excess of 152 million measurements have been contributed to the GLOBE science database, creating research-quality datasets that are available to all.

The EPA launched the GLOBE programme in Ireland late last year. GLOBE will give teachers and students across Ireland the skills, training and support to engage in meaningful scientific investigations about their local environment and to put this in a global perspective. The initial focus of the GLOBE programme in Ireland will centre on the study of the atmosphere and will involve up to 40 primary and secondary schools nationwide, from both urban and rural backgrounds, measuring aerosol optical thickness, relative humidity, barometric pressure and air temperature. Through these measurements, the students will learn about air quality in their local environment and will be encouraged to use these data to carry out scientific projects. In addition, the data will be uploaded to the GLOBE database. The 2018 programme has already commenced, with 19 schools registered to the programme and measurements beginning in March to contribute to GLOBE Spring Air Quality Campaign.

Promoting GLOBE at Green Schools Expo

The 2018 Green Schools Expo took place at the RDS Dublin on Thursday, February 22nd. This year’s theme was Climate Action with a focus on what we can do in our schools, homes and communities to combat climate change. The event was attended by over 4,500 students and teachers and provided an ideal opportunity to further inform the Green Schools community of the GLOBE programme and offer the opportunity to schools that may be interested in being involved in the pilot programme that will be extended to more schools during 2018/2019.

GLOBE Learning Expedition

Every four years GLOBE holds an international symposium for its GLOBE student community called the “GLOBE Learning Expedition (GLE)”. Excitingly, the 2018 GLE will be hosted in Killarney in July, in partnership with Killarney National Park and the National Parks & Wildlife Service. GLE is an international science conference that provides school students from around the world with the opportunity to present their research projects to their peers, to GLOBE scientists, and the greater GLOBE community. Students will also have an opportunity to carry out field work in the National Park and conduct GLOBE investigations. At the same time, teachers are provided with an opportunity to share innovative ideas and challenges, to attend training, and to build connections for research efforts between schools.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency