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First YES Medal Awarded

Updated: Jul 10, 2018

The first Youth Environmental Science Medal was presented to Dr. Barrett Rock at the Annual Meeting of the National Science Teachers Association in Chicago, Illinois. The award was presented by Dr. Dixon Butler, YLACES President.

Dr. Rock spoke of his experiences in founding New England Forest Watch and how this prepared the way for his role in establishing GLOBE and its extensive approach to youth taking and analyzing environmental measurements. Beginning in 1992, students as young as third grade began taking measurements of ozone damage on white pine trees in forests, primarily in New England, and comparing their observations with true color and infrared false color Landsat images. In May 1994, Dr. Rock read a story in the Boston Globe describing the announcement by the Clinton White House that a program was being organized to involve students in taking environmental measurements beginning with temperature. Surprised at the limited vision for what students could do, Dr. Rock contacted the White House and was invited to come to Washington, DC, to present his views. He shared his experience with Forest Watch and showed a video of third grade participants. This presentation resulted in a far richer set of environmental measurements being included at the start of the GLOBE Program and in Dr. Rock becoming the founding Chief Scientist of the Program.

Following the Medal presentation and Dr. Rock’s remarks, Dr. Tony Murphy, Director of the GLOBE Implementation Office at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research spoke of his contact with Dr. Rock at the beginning of the Program and where GLOBE stands as it is about to celebrate 20 years of operation. Dr. Murphy was a Sea Grant Fellow in the original GLOBE office and was inspired by Dr. Rock’s vision for the program. Dr. Murphy indicated that 20 years on, GLOBE students from over 100 countries have reported well over 100 million measurements and more that 50,000 teachers have received professional development training in approach, measurement procedures, and technology resources of the Program. GLOBE collaboration with satellite missions has expanded from use of Landsat data to active work in support of NASA’s CloudSat, CalipsoGlobal Precipitation Measurement (GPM), and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) missions

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