NOAA 2001-051
Contact: Pat Viets


K-12 students are teaming up with the government's chief storm chaser and weather forecasters to monitor the effects of severe weather events in their communities. On Friday, May 4, from 1-2 p.m. EDT, Joe Schaefer, director of the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., will host a Web chat with Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment students discussing how they can provide crucial data for forecasting, tracking and monitoring severe storms.

Reporters are invited to follow the Web Chat by linking to and following the links from the home page.

GLOBE is a program where students in thousands of United States schools, under the guidance of trained teachers, collect data about atmosphere, hydrology and soils. Scientists use the data, posted by the students on the World Wide Web, for a variety of studies, such as the validation of satellite images used to track seasonal and long-term changes in land cover and the identification of microclimates that experience small-scale variations in temperature and precipitation.

Schaefer has done extensive work on forecasting techniques, tornado climatology, forecast verification and the application of technology to forecasting. His scientific interests focus on synoptic and mesoscale meteorology, the study of the different levels of storm systems. In 1990, Schaefer received a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his warning verification work, and in 1993 he received an American Meteorological Society editors award.

GLOBE is an interagency program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Education and State. Over 85 countries have signed bilateral agreements to also allow their schools to participate in GLOBE.