COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: From Local to Extreme Environments: Deepening Earth Systems Science Understanding with GLOBE

  • Goehring, Elizabeth (PI)
  • Fisher, Jr., Charles Raymond (CoPI)
  • Carlsen, William (CoPI)
  • Williams, Catherine (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Collaborative Research: From Local to Extreme Environments: Deepening Earth Systems Science Understanding with GLOBE This project is working to bring current ocean science research on marine environments and ecosystems into the GLOBE program and provide opportunities for GLOBE students to make comparisons between their local environments and extreme environments of the deep sea. Scientists and educators from the Ridge 2000 (R2K), InterRidge, and ChEss (Biogeography of Deep-Water Chemosynthetic Ecosystems) programs engaged in interdisciplinary studies of deep-sea systems are working in collaboration with the Center for Science and the Schools (CSATS) to support collaborations between marine scientists and elementary and secondary students. The foundation of this project is the "From Local to Extreme Environments" (FLEXE) program, in which students collect data in their local environment and compare it with equivalent data from partner schools and from an extreme environment, namely the deep sea. Hydrothermal vents and cold seeps are among the extreme environments being compared. Students, working either as a Tier 1 (stand-alone) or Tier 2 (paired with another school) effort, participate in three main activities: (1) protocol-driven fieldwork and analysis, and analysis of data from an extreme environment; (2) web-based interactions with scientists and students from partner schools; and (3) culminating activities that include reporting and peer review. New protocols to collect key environmental parameters (e.g., temperature, salinity), some of which can be adapted from existing GLOBE protocols, will be implemented each year. The FLEXE Forum provides an online data system for exploring Learning Activities developed for the project and for facilitating interactions between students and between students and scientists. Through this Forum, collaborating scientists submit scientific questions to the students for them to answer as they carry out their investigations, and provide feedback on the answers in a timely manner. As a culminating Wrap Up experience, students write template-based scientific reports that are peer-reviewed by other participating students. Teacher professional development resources, including Teacher's Guides, online training, and other web-based learning and assessment tools, are also being developed through this project. These combined activities are helping students to develop inquiry skills, learn about life in the marine environment and their local ecosystems, and gain new understanding of the fundamental integrated Earth system processes that control habitability in diverse settings.

Effective start/end date8/15/067/31/13


  • National Science Foundation: $1,035,980.00
  • National Science Foundation: $1,035,980.00


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