By Megan Naylor
For 25 years, the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program has been making science cool for students across Estonia. In August, with the support of visiting NASA scientists, GLOBE Estonia brought together 170 students and teachers from nine countries for an action-packed, four-day regional expedition. Chargé d’Affaires Gabrielle Cowan and Estonian President Alar Karis kicked off the event.
“Our partnership with GLOBE Estonia is a great example of the creative ways we can work with our Estonian friends to address pressing global challenges like the climate crisis,” said Cowan.
Karis highlighted GLOBE as a path to addressing the climate crisis, and cautioned that time is running out for decisive action.
“To change the world—first, we need data on how different places in the world react. Second, we need environmental education to understand the correlation between our action[s] and the environment. The GLOBE program has been doing both for more than 25 years,” he said.
Students raved about presentations from NASA Senior Earth Science Education Specialist Brian Campbell and GLOBE Partner Peter Falcon from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab comparing ground- and space-based observations about climate change. Teachers were particularly moved by the participation of Ukrainian refugees studying in Estonian GLOBE schools, noting their eager involvement and how the warm welcome from students underscored the inclusive values of the GLOBE program.
“Over the past 25 years, we have built a loyal and dedicated network of GLOBE alumni who led the planning work, while the Embassy supported some of the speaker and program expenses,” said Environment, Science, Technology and Health Specialist Taimi Veedla, who worked with GLOBE to ensure the expedition’s success. “I always advise the GLOBE team to dream big—and that’s what they did here, proving once again that there’s nothing cooler than talking science and taking measurements on summer holidays.”
Megan Naylor is the economic officer at Embassy Tallinn.