OSTP Director John P. Holdren will give a free public lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, this evening as part of the White House’s celebration of Earth Day 2010. Dr. Holdren’s talk, "Science and Technology for Sustainable Well-Being: Priorities and Policies in the Obama Administration," will highlight Administration initiatives that are addressing the pressing economic, environmental, energy-, and climate-related challenges facing the Nation today.
Dr. Holdren will also note that today marks not only the 40th anniversary of Earth Day but also the 15th anniversary of a Federal program that embodies the central principles of Earth Day—the Global Learning & Observations to Benefit the Environment, or “GLOBE,” program. OSTP today released a new report that affirms the many benefits of that environmental education program—launched on Earth Day 1995—and lays out a map for future accomplishments.
GLOBE is a worldwide primary- and secondary-school-based science and education program designed to open up the world of scientific discovery to students by getting them into the field to make actual environmental measurements, such as air temperature, waterway acidity, and sunlight intensity. Since its launch in 1995, the program has grown to connect—in an enormous data-sharing network—more than 20,000 schools in 112 countries.
Students in GLOBE schools, along with the 50,000 teachers that GLOBE has trained in those schools, have collected and uploaded more than 20 million environmental and climate measurements in the past 15 years—a data set that is openly available for collaborative scientific research by students and professional scientists alike.
“GLOBE is an important tool for educating the next generation of climate and environmental scientists, giving students the opportunity to share in the excitement of scientific discovery in their own backyards,” Dr. Holdren said.
The new report, produced by OSTP, reaffirms the value of GLOBE as part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to science education and environmental stewardship and lays out important goals for the years ahead—in particular an enhanced focus on climate education that focuses on global warming, the carbon and energy footprint, climate and human health, and ecosystems, agriculture, and biodiversity.
GLOBE is just one element in an array of programs and activities being supported by the Administration in the domain of environmental science and education, many of which are highlighted on a special Earth Day website launched this week by the White House