On October 11, 2012 I participated in a GLOBE training in Finland. The training was organized by Liisa Virta, the country coordinator for Finland, Teresa Kenedy from from the International Division of the GLOBE Program Office located in Tyler, Texas, Laura Riuttanen, researcher of Division of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Helsinki, and Mirka Mc Intire from the US Embassy in Helsinki.
We focused on the basic Atmosphere observations.
Clouds and contrails
Precipitation (rain gauge and snow board) including pH
Water vapor (sling psychrometer)
Air temperature (max, min, current)
Once we were there, it was apparent that the teachers wanted to learn about green up, green down and bud burst. So, we covered those observations as well.
We focused on modeling how the teachers could work with their students on projects. We had the teachers break into groups of 4 or 5 with 1 or 2 trainers working with them. They work for about 30 minutes to plan a short research project that they could do using the observations they had learned. The groups had to come up with a question to answer. One group wanted to see how the humidity would change from a forested area on to campus. A group of elementary teachers wanted to investigate how the clouds would be different over the land versus the ocean. Just as a coincidence, a rainbow formed that was a beautiful thing.
The teachers laughed when I pulled out a ruler to measure the snow. They said in Finland, they use meter sticks. Snow can be a meter deep.
We worked in the computer lab in the Physics building. The teachers and trainers explored the GLOBE website and set each up as friends. The best thing that the teachers and trainers did was to form a working group. They spent quite a bit of time discussing how to implement GLOBE in their classroom.
Liisa showed me around Helsinki the day before the training. Here she picked out mushrooms to take home. I had never seen such a variety of mushrooms. I posed in front of a ship in the harbor and took a picture of myself with a rhinocerus made out of bronze (I think).
It was a great experience.
I found Finland to be a wonderful country. The people are very friendly and it was easy to get around. Everyone in the country speaks English. I mentioned it to Liisa and she said that with only 5 million people in Finland, they have to know other languages in order to get along in the world. I was impressed. And, most of the signs and menus were in English.