GLOBE Switzerland is part of the international GLOBE Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) programme, an internet-based communications network of over 19,000 schools in 109 countries. Derived from a 1994 initiative by former US Vice President Al Gore, this global environmental programme engages school students, teaching staff and scientists in understanding, through long-term observations and measurements, important developments occurring in the Earth’s environment. Under the programme, 97 schools from all over Switzerland have gathered more than 200,000 environmental measurements since 1998.
School teams collect environmental data from their surroundings on a regular basis according to detailed instructions. According to their individual capacity, the participating schools measure factors in the following four areas:
- Climate: cloud density, cloud type, air temperature (min/max and current temperature), precipitation, pH value of precipitation, ozone and haze;
- Soil: soil structure, colour, strength, texture, calcium content, soil density, particle size distribution, soil pH value, fertility, humidity, temperature, permeability;
- Water: pH value, temperature, oxygen content, degree of transparency, conductivity, nitrate content;
- Vegetation: ground cover, species, biomass, biometry (tree circumference, height, crown density).
This data is incorporated into an international database accessible via the internet. The data can be evaluated, summarized, combined with quantitative data from other sources and displayed graphically. The information can be used for educational or scientific purposes and can be accessed by any interested person via the internet.
with schools, environmental agencies and research institutions. In Switzerland, GLOBE cooperates with the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).