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12 days ago
GLOBE Community Video Letter_Dr. Tony Murphy
The GLOBE Implementation Office
to me
6 minutes agoDetails

Letter to the GLOBE Community

from Dr. Tony Murphy

Director of the GLOBE Implementation Office

The UCAR Media Center is now open following the pandemic.

Tony will keep you informed of the latest at The GLOBE Program.

Thanks for listening!

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For closed captions in English click on the CC button on the lower right of the screen.


Hello Everyone! And a very special welcome to the newest members of the GLOBE Community in. Belize, our 127th country. Welcome to you all.

I am Dr. Tony Murphy, Director of the GLOBE Implementation Office. I don’t believe anyone would disagree with the fact that this has been a difficult and extremely challenging time for all of us. And while COVID is still with us, with routine vaccinations, healthy precautions and some luck, there is a sense of relief that we can finally manage it. It seems the worst of the scourge is behind us, so I wanted to take this time to acknowledge your continued participation in, or return to, The GLOBE Program after more than two years.

I am hopeful that the year ahead will see our return to in-person meetings and gatherings. The strength of the GLOBE Community is clearly visible at these events and their power is not lost on people who attend one. I had the privilege to attend a regional GLOBE Learning Expedition in Estonia in August, which was opened by the country’s President, himself a scientist, who spoke of the need for this program in his country. The opening was also attended by the Minister of Education and the Charge des Affaires from the U.S. Both talked about the impact that GLOBE can have, and has had, on students learning about and understanding of the environment. In total, 158 GLOBE Community members from 9 countries spent 4 days, COVID-free, on the edge of the Baltic Sea doing GLOBE.

More in-person events are planned over the next few months including:

in Nepal next month at the return to the 6th Lake Pokhara Water Expedition, with 35 participants from eight countries;

In the U.S. where the North American Regional Meeting will have both a virtual event followed by 2-day, concurrent, in-person, teacher professional development experiences in 4 different locations;

in the Europe and Eurasia region, its meeting hosted by Croatia in October;

in the Latin America and Caribbean region, meeting hosted by Colombia; and

in the Near East and North Africa region, its meeting in Jordan in November.

After more than two years, I think we will appreciate the opportunities for in-person, social conversations and sharing of experiences – the opportunities for all those wonderful spontaneous connections that lift us up and make us human. It feels as though the windows are opening and the sunshine and fresh air is coming in at long last.

The world is a different place from what it was two years ago, and COVID-19 has taught us a lot. Here at GLOBE, we learned that

1. Our students are resilient

We had 2 successful International Science Symposia during the pandemic and our international student vlogger project launched during this time and is giving a public face to our students. ­­

2. Good teachers are priceless

Teachers were tasked with service well above and beyond what they were accustomed to… and behind every successful student or student group, there are almost always generous and committed teachers

3. We have a strong organization

Our RCOs, Partners, Country Coordinators, Working Groups, and our staff here at the GIO, DIS and GLOBE Observer are a committed and productive lot. We also learned that

4. Virtual Meetings are more inclusive.

Virtual meetings can level the field, as it were, by removing costs to attend meetings. We saw how supporting the RCOs to provide monthly virtual check-ins with the community helped create a more engaged community. Having a virtual component to in-person meetings Will likely be a part of our large events in the future. Lastly, we also clearly learned that

5. The digital divide exists.

More than 2 years of zoom calls showed us that most, but NOT ALL, of us have the means to stay connected during a crisis. This is something else we must come together to equalize.

The pandemic gave us plenty of time to think about life. What it means to live a fulfilling and purposeful life; how to remain hopeful given the enormous environmental threats to our world. Those two thoughts are inextricably linked.

The pandemic accelerated our focus on our world and our place in it. This is our “new normal.” We have emerged from the cocoon of our pandemic isolation into a world having a need for a lot of problem-solvers. There is a lot of work to be done and we here at GLOBE are in a privileged position to pull together to be a force for knowledge and a force of change, given the ground-work we have done over the last 27 years.

Science benefited all of us during the pandemic, with rapid development and deployment of vaccines. Science — and lots of creative thinking — will benefit us again when it comes to addressing our global environmental issues.

The GLOBE community is a perfect community in which to have the many conversations that need to be had. Let’s get to work now to make the “new normal” a better normal.

- - - -

Teachers and Students, It’s time to start planning for the 2023 International Virtual Science Symposium. The new page is up on our website. Have a look.

And it’s time for all of you to consider how you can become more engaged with GLOBE in the year ahead AND to start planning to attend our IN-PERSON Annual Meeting in July 2023. And to our international members, if you do not have an existing US visa, I want to encourage you to begin that application process NOW. We know the pandemic has impacted that process, and backlogs exist, so the earlier you can begin this, the better. We want to see you participate. We want to see you there, as we return to 3D in-person meetings.

That’s all for now. Have a good week everyone!

Tony MurphyPhD

Director, GLOBE Implementation Office


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