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UNH Awarded $800,000 NSF Grant for GLOBE Program
DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire's Department of Natural Resources has been awarded $800,000 by the National Science Foundation to support the international science and education program, called GLOBE.

GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) involves scientists and K-12 teachers in more than 4,000 schools from 64 countries. These teams use standardized scientific techniques to make environmental observations in their local communities. The data they collect, including information about weather, water, air chemistry and quality, land use conditions and ecology, is reported over the Worldwide Web to the GLOBE database and used by students and scientists worldwide.

UNH has been involved in the GLOBE Program, which was launched by Vice President Al Gore in 1994, since its inception. The new NSF grant will be awarded over four years to further support the work of UNH's Land Cover/Biology Investigation Team.

Led by Russell Congalton, associate professor natural resources and remote sensing, and Mimi Larsen Becker, assistant professor of natural resources and environmental policy, the team will use the money to increase its scientific involvement in GLOBE, extend the development of student-scientist partnerships, and enhance science education.

Other members of the team include Barry Rock, professor of forestry and director of UNH's Complex Systems Research Center; Larry Ryan and Gary Lauten, scientists in the Complex Systems Research Center; Jennifer Hagen, GLOBE research associate; Sherry Wornstead, natural resources graduate student; and Rose Rowe, natural resources undergraduate student.

According to Becker, four key objectives the team will focus on over the next four years include:
Assisting with assessment of maps generated from remotely sensed data. Using GLOBE student measurements as reference data, the team will generate error matrices to assess the accuracy of land cover maps.

Maintaining the scientific integrity of the GLOBE measurements and protocols by testing the validity of student-collected data.

Increasing interactions with teachers and students to provide the scientific and educational support needed to properly implement two protocols that will assist scientists in detecting changes in land cover over time.

Providing support for team members to engage in training and outreach to GLOBE teachers.

"Encouraged by their teachers, students from GLOBE schools can develop their skills as scientists and mathematicians," says Congalton.

"They learn how to conduct field research, analyze data and satellite images, and use the Internet," adds Becker, "skills that will be necessary for them to succeed in the new millennium."

GLOBE funding is appropriated by the U.S. Congress and supported at the federal level by the NSF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Education and State.

Contact: Sharon Keeler, 603-862-1566

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