Dr. Elena Sparrow, PI for the Seasons and Biomes project, and Professor and Education Outreach Director of the International Arctic Research Center; Ms. Martha Kopplin, Seasons and Biomes Project Coordinator and Education Outreach Specialist at the International Arctic Research Center; and Dr. Leslie Gordon, Science, Math Education Specialist, Seasons and Biomes co-PI traveld to Thailand to conduct GLOBE workshops for Thai students, teachers and scientists, using Seasons and Biomes activities in development.

The team began their trip with a visit to a school in the town of Nakhon Si Thammarat. There they had the privilege of observing GLOBE-affiliated Thai scientists working with students in grades 8–12, teaching them about mosquitoes as an indicator of seasonal change. The students made presentations based on what they learned, and the team was very impressed with their knowledge, poise, and ability to communicate clearly despite the language challenges.

Students at the Khanompitaya School in Nakhon Si Thammarat give their mosquito presentation

The next stop was Walailak University, for a one-day inquiry workshop featuring the Seasons and Biomes “Leaf Damage” activity. The team also met with the president and deans of the school to discuss possible future collaborations, and Dr. Sparrow gave a talk about Earth as a system, climate change and the global significance of the International Polar Year. Following the talk, they met with a group of graduate and upper level undergraduate students to talk about the students’ projects and answer questions about Alaska and how arctic scientists work in the field.

Then it was on to the Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens near Chiang Mai for the second workshop, hosted by the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology in Thailand (a government agency under the Ministry of Education). This four-day event was filled with talks by Thai scientists, training in a variety of different GLOBE activities and protocols, and group sessions for teachers planning to implement Seasons and Biomes in their classrooms. Dr. Sparrow again presented her “Earth as a System” talk.


Dr. Leslie Gordon and Ms. Martha Kopplin of the Seasons & Biomes project, with Mr. Pattrawut Pusingha of GLOBE Thailand, at the resort in Chiang Mai, site of the 4-day SAB workshop

Following this workshop, Dr. Sparrow gave an invited presentation at the Third National Science Education Seminar on the Development of Science Learning Processes Towards Local Wisdom Innovation, sponsored by the Council of Science Deans of Thailand. The symposium, for secondary and university science educators, was convened at Chiang Mai University and is held only once every five years. Dr. Sparrow’s topic was “Climate Change Education in the 21st Century” and she discussed climate change in the Arctic, its relevancy to non-polar regions, and how to become involved in climate change education.

The Seasons and Biomes team is very grateful for the support and collaborative efforts of the educators, scientists and staff of Walailak University, GLOBE Thailand and the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), as well as to the scientists and teachers who took time from their busy schedules to attend the Chiang Mai workshop. Their participation and support was critical in making the Seasons and Biomes Thailand Professional Developm