Offering STEM education and related programming that can empower the next generation of diverse students, faculty, and citizen scientists to make positive environmental impacts has never been more important.

 With that in mind, Professor Rebecca Boger, also the chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, was selected as the principal investigator for a highly competitive cooperative agreement award aimed at expanding and innovating NASA’s Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program.

The five-year, $11.1-million, multicampus initiative, called the “CUNY-GLOBE” partnership, includes a team of researchers from Brooklyn College, CUNY Graduate Center, the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center (CUNY ASRC), and Lehman College, as well as the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Global STEM Education Center, and State University of New York at Fredonia.

Among its many features, GLOBE supports inquiry-based education to promote environmental literacy as well as advances Earth system science and applications. GLOBE was established in 1994 by the U.S. government and launched worldwide in 1995. It is one of the most long-standing and well-respected education and participatory science consortia dedicated to understanding our global environment and how it is changing. With more than 125 participating countries, GLOBE is also a preeminent program for advancing science diplomacy, building a global workforce, and facilitating collaboration toward a sustainable future.

Boger worked for GLOBE first as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Knauss Fellow and then as an international project scientist between 1998 and 2007, when she started her position at Brooklyn College. Since then, she has continued working with GLOBE in several ways, including as a co-investigator on the Seasons and Biomes project, trainer, and chair of the science working group.

“I am thrilled to expand on my past work with GLOBE and bring these resources to Brooklyn College and other campuses,” Boger said. “GLOBE has been operating for nearly 30 years as a textbook example of a highly effective international community of practice in participatory science, and we are beyond excited to help advance its very urgent work.”

“Brooklyn College is honored to be recognized by NASA for the GLOBE program, and we look forward to the major positive impact it will have on the greater New York City area,” said Peter Tolias, dean of the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences. “Congratulations to Professor Boger, who is helping the department become a regional focal point and leader for environmental research and education.”

The objectives of the program include:

  • Supporting robust scientific outcomes through programmatic attention to data quality
  • Strengthening GLOBE’s connection to NASA Earth science
  • Expanding partnerships between the GLOBE community of practice, humanitarian organizations, and the greater science and application communities
  • Broadening access to GLOBE through strategic partnerships, updated and new resources, open science practices, and an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Increasing GLOBE’s role in STEM workforce development
  • Integrating and further developing participatory science infrastructure

The grant distribution among the campuses is:

  • CUNY ASRC: $6.3 million
  • Brooklyn College: $4.1 million
  • Lehman College: $461,645
  • CUNY Graduate Center: $258,115

The CUNY-GLOBE partnership will support research projects in the areas of STEM and Earth and environmental sciences and will actively involve students, faculty, and community-based scientists. GLOBE resources and tools will facilitate data sharing and address data requests. These innovations create additional opportunities to support STEM educators’ and researchers’ career advancements. In addition, the team will work to develop and expand on GLOBE’s participatory science infrastructure, providing more opportunities and additional pathways for the public to contribute to GLOBE science.

“The GLOBE Program is an extensive network of committed individuals and groups who share GLOBE’s core value of furthering STEM educational attainment through active participation in and contribution to purposeful science and applications for the benefit of the global environment,” said Amy P. Chen, NASA GLOBE program manager. “The experienced team from CUNY and collaborating partners have an ambitious plan to strengthen and innovate GLOBE’s enabling infrastructure in science, training, education, and public engagement. I am looking forward to seeing GLOBE further its reach and impact from this team’s effort.”