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Application Process
Form a Team
Earth System Science
Science Interests Inventory
Team Building
Team Rules
Letter of Commitment
Mission Patch
Case Study
Yellowstone Forest Fires
Forest Fires
I. How They Work
II. Fire Management
I. Map of Yellowstone
II. Yellowstone Fire
III. One Year After
IV. Six Years After

Earth Sys. Analysis
Yellowstone Fire Analysis
Sphere Analysis Tool

Form a Team

Teamwork is vital to successful missions. Over the years, NASA has had many successful missions, and a few that have failed. In regards to NASA's Mars missions, project manager Tim Flores (Ames Research Center) had this to say, "One fundamental element distinguished successful missions from the failed missions teamwork," (ASK Magazine, issue 12).

Mr. Flores also had this to say, "Without a doubt, sound science and technical proficiency are crucial to a project. But an examination of the Mars missions tells us that we can't afford to overlook the relationships between the people doing the work."

To succeed in Operation Montserrat, you must form a team of people who are able to do two things well: 1) work together, and 2) work independently on team tasks. Working together will require listening, contributing to team discussions, sharing thoughts, communicating and attention to details. Working independently will be important because your team will be relying on you for certain tasks which only you will have to do. For instance, one of you must work with numbers while another works on the graph. You will both have to finish on time.

  • On mission day, your mathematical and communications skills will be put to the test. Practice the mathematical procedures needed for the mission. Make sure you are familiar with concepts such as cumulative numbers, multiplication, and the use of graphs and tables.
  • Communications skills include the ability to communicate under pressure using both writing and speaking.
  • Managing the crisis requires teamwork, planning, and clear-headed problem-solving abilities, especially in high-pressure, emergency situations.

How to Form a Team

Each member of your team must pick an Earth system sphere to investigate. What are your choices? For e-Mission: Operation Montserrat your team will need the following sphere experts:

  • Atmosphere Experts specialize in the Earth's weather, the sky, and the protective, gaseous shell around the Earth.
  • Lithosphere Experts specialize in the Earth's crust, the rocks, and the Earth's core.
  • Biosphere Experts specialize in studying living things and how the environment affects them.
  • Hydrosphere Experts specialize in studying the waters of the Earth, its streams, oceans, and the water cycle.

1) Introduction to Earth Science. For background information on how Earth system scientists think and work, go to link: Earth System Science and read an interview with Dr. Alex Hymark, a retiree of e-Mission Headquarters.

2) Determine Your Speciality. To help you find out which area of investigation you should choose, go to link: Science Interests Inventory . This questionnaire will help you discover which sphere is most appealing to you. Click here for a printable version.

If you are still not sure which Investigator's role you want, explore the different specialties in greater depth.

Finally, decide, as a team, each member's area of investigation. Don't argue. Collaborate. Negotiate. Be adventurous.

3) Put Together Your Team. Go to link: Team Building to read an interview with Dr. Edie Alberts, an internationally renowned, team-building consultant.

4) Decide on Your Team's Guidelines. Go to link: Team Rules to read Dr. Alberts' list of team rules. Discuss and select five of Dr. Alberts' team rules to help guide your team.