2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest for Grades 9-12

26 October 2010 | News story

The contest challenges high school students to conduct innovative research on our changing planet using the latest geospatial tools and data. From CEC Specialty Group Leader Nancy Colleton of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.
 

$3,500 in Cash Awards Available

Entries Due: April 11, 2011
www.strategies.org/thachercontest

 *** Be part of a new generation of problem solvers that will meet the challenges posed by a changing planet ***

From the massive Gulf oil spill to the continued decline of Arctic sea ice, satellites and other observing instruments have proved crucial this year in monitoring the many environmental changes -- both natural and human-induced -- occurring on global, regional and local scales.

The 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, challenges high school students (grades 9-12) to conduct innovative research on our changing planet using the latest geospatial tools and data, which in recent years have become increasingly accessible to the public.

The best projects will receive cash awards in the amount of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Entries can be submitted by individuals or teams. In the case of team entries, the cash award will be split equally among the winning team members. Winners also will be featured in an Encyclopedia of Earth article.

In addition to the student prizes, teachers of the first-, second- and third-place students or teams will receive a $200 amazon.com gift card. If participation is part of an after-school club or other activity independent of school, the student or team can identify an adult "coach" who would be eligible for this award (e.g., a parent, club leader, etc.).

Entries must be received by April 11, 2011, and will be judged by IGES staff.

Eligible geospatial tools and data include satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). The main focus of the project must be on the application of the geospatial tool(s) or data to study a problem related to Earth's environment.

Geospatial tools and data have numerous uses in science research, ranging from climate prediction to archaeology. They can be used to improve our understanding of Earth systems, including interactions within and among the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere. They also can be used to improve the quality of our lives by supporting weather prediction, natural hazards monitoring, agriculture, land-use planning, coastal management, transportation, public health, emergency response and other fields.

The Thacher Environmental Research Contest (formerly the Thacher Scholars Award) was founded in honor of former IGES board member Peter Thacher, who was a leader in promoting the use of satellite remote sensing. Thacher was former deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, NASA advisor and, at the time of his death, president of the Earth Council Foundation/U.S.

For more information on the 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, including a list of resources for geospatial data, please visit www.strategies.org/ThacherContest.

CONTACT
Dan Stillman
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
(703) 312-7138 (Phone)
(703) 312-8657 (FAX)
Email: dan_stillman@strategies.org