People - GLOBE Observer
Ms. Ramona Mercieca
Where are you from?
I am from Malta, a southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. I live in Gozo which is the second largest island. It is more rural and known for its abundant countryside and majestic sunsets.
What do you do?
I am a geography teacher at Gozo College Middle School, Victoria. I am also the link person for Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) and Learning About Forests (LEAF) at the same school. This role requires coordinating programmes as a whole school approach and linking the programmes together, with the various sustainability themes. My school is working on several other projects that range from various subjects across the curriculum, mainly STEM subjects. I am the GLOBE Deputy Country Coordinator for Malta and a member of the Europe and Eurasia Regional Board. I am also a volunteer with Nature Trust FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) Malta.
What got you interested in science?
I have been interested in science since childhood. I believe science is a way of thinking, and that it is important for people to understand its value. There is so much out there that we as human beings fail to understand and by doing science, we better understand the world around us and engage in its protection.
What do you do for fun?
I really enjoy cooking; I like to create meals and share them with my family and friends. I also enjoy visiting new restaurants and then trying the recipes out at home. I also enjoy going for a walk, or for a hike in nature. Spending time outside around nature helps me reduce stress and boost my mood.
How do you use GLOBE Observer, and how do you plan to use GLOBE Observer in the future?
The app makes teaching geography and science fun. Not only does GLOBE Observer help students learn how to identify clouds and encourage them to spend more time outside, but they are also helping experts collect data through citizen science! I have also integrated GLOBE Observer with my eTwinning and Eco-School projects with students and teachers collecting tree height measurements both at the national and international level.
Why is citizen science important to you?
Citizen science is a way for my students to gain science experience and directly help the scientific community. Through citizen science, we can play a role in the scientific process to help address real-world problems like climate change and declining biodiversity.
Any advice for people who want to support citizen scientists?
When my students and I are engaged in a project, taking pictures of clouds, counting a specific type of plant or measuring the height of trees, we become very focused and lost in the moment. Citizen science can stimulate mindfulness, which also has been shown to improve well-being by spending more time outdoors in nature. The GLOBE Program provides citizen science opportunities for kids and adults alike and they can get involved from their own backyard! Technology like the GLOBE Observer app make citizen science more accessible today than ever before.
What inspires you?
My greatest inspiration is nature! Nature, as a silent teacher, reveals various secrets of life so that we can all learn from them.
Any favorite quote(s) that you would like to share?
Never too little to care and do your share!