2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest for Grades 9-12$3,500 in Cash Awards Available Entries Due: April 15, 2013
Be part of a new generation of problem solvers
that will meet the challenges posed by a changing planet
As Hurricane Sandy began to form in October, scientists, decision-makers, and the public turned to satellites and other observing instruments to track its path, measure its intensity, and predict its impacts. Given the storms 1,000-mile span, people across the Mid-Atlantic were able to take precautions to minimize damage. After the storm, a different set of satellites (ones that observe land and oceans) provided data and imagery that, along with geospatial tools, proved crucial in assessing the devastation and determining how the coastline had changed. Everyday geospatial tools are used to make new discoveries and better understand the changing planet. With the help of satellite data and information, paleontologists increase their odds of finding the best dig sites. Scientists were not only able to provide a more accurate count of Emperor Penguins in Antarctica, but they also discovered two new colonies via satellite images. A new smart phone application even combines crowdsourcing and Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to create a more-accurate navigation application.
The 2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest provides high school students (grades 9-12) with the opportunity to innovatively use the latest geospatial tools, data and environmental information to research our changing planet. The main focus of the project must be on the application of the geospatial tool(s) or data and information to study a problem related to Earth's environment.
Eligible geospatial tools and data include satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, geographic information systems (GIS) and GPS.
The top three projects earn cash awards -- $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Individuals or teams may submit entries. In the case of team entries, the cash award will be split equally among the winning team members.
In addition to the student prizes, teachers of the winning 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 15, 2013. IGES plans to announce the winning entries by May 22, 2013. Last year's winners analyzed floodplain models, researched the correlation between land cover and stream health in one Virginia county, and determined the results of protecting an isolated area from the introduction of invasive, non-native plants.
The Thacher Environmental Research Contest 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 2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, including a list of resources for geospatial data, please visit www.strategies.org/ThacherContest <http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001w0TqxFODfm7mzqHAKRnKND1UXzgKkVts13huZ6yaxS5X4AwfKqc0WqRnoqpK9zJoVb_IKHpJkzgLSClZ1QXGUdblwwvtvW_V6DB-dJ8x6bmpa1PeL-bIwQm8q8rlkFknkGZBW79waEM=>
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
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