Ms. Mary Kivaria has been involved with GLOBE for more than a decade, serving since 1997 as the first GLOBE Country Coordinator in Tanzania. In 2003, she was asked to lead the Environmental Education Unit (EEU) for the Ministry of Education and was tasked with monitoring GLOBE activities to promote the environment through active and participatory learning. Since the early days of GLOBE in Tanzania, Mary Kivaria has been a vital force for GLOBE implementation.
GLOBE protocols have effectively served as an important tool in promoting young scientists as active investigators of environmental issues in their communities. In Tanzania, for example, students of Kibaha High school, in the Coastal Region of Tanzania, conducted a study on The Effect of Mercury in Growth of Mammals, in response to small-scale mining activities that were using mercury as a part of the mining process. In another example, the students of Tambaza High School, in Dar es Salaam, completed a study on the pollution of Msimbazi River used locally as a source of drinking water before it empties into the Indian Ocean. Teachers in Tanzania have adopted GLOBE protocols as a integral method of teaching science.
In the course of promoting hands-on science learning, Mary and a team from the GLOBE Africa Regional Office organized the first GLOBE Mountain Xpedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro, in collaboration with the GLOBE Seasons and Biomes Project from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Akira in Japan, to study the shifting biomes and shrinking glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro. While the Xpedition was taking place from 24 September to 2 October 2009, GLOBE teachers and students around the world were able to participate online by sending questions to Xpedition Members via e-mail and reading the responses from students and scientists on the mountain. This Xpedition also included an international teacher training. While Xpedition members trekked to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, 70 teachers remained at the base camp for teacher training.
Ms. Kivaria is affectionately known throughout Africa and to all on the Xpedition as "Mama Mary." You can have a glimpse of this remarkable woman in a short video taken in September 2009 at the entrance gate to Mt. Kilimanjaro, in which she provides an oral history of the changes seen on the mountain.
Mary Kivaria retired from her position with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training for the government of Tanzania December 2010, where she served as the Country Coordinator for 13 years. Ms. Kivari will continue to assist with GLOBE in Tanzania, serving as the Assistant Country Coordinator to Mr. Robert E. M. Lwikolela. She plans to remain active with GLOBE and promote GLOBE activities through an NGO called FIDE, based in Arusha. Mary writes, "I understand the diversity of the country and know how to help teachers make effective change in their teaching."
The GLOBE Program Office would like to extend its sincere appreciation to Ms. Kivaria for her many years of outstanding service to GLOBE Africa and The GLOBE Program.