Studying the Weather and Climate of Alaska Across a Network of Observers

Collins, Richard L. ; Warner, Susan P. ; Martus, Cameron M. ; Moss, Jennifer L. ; Leelasaskultum, Ketsiri ; Winnan, Reynir C.

Année de publication
Weather and Climate of Alaska is an undergraduate course for nonscience majors where students study meteorology from their home as part of a statewide network of classmates. The students draw on their experience of the weather and climate by observing weather locally and sharing their work with classmates across the state. The goal of the class is to have this cohort of students understand weather and climate through exploring the relationships between processes at the local, regional, and global scales. The class is organized around weekly investigations where the students use an equipment kit to make observations, report their work with videos, and discuss the work with the instructor and their peers. The students use NWS resources extensively, including station data to check the quality of their observations, weather maps and satellite images to understand the weather they have observed, weather forecasts to evaluate different forecasting techniques, and long-term data to compare their observations with the climate record. The course also includes traditional quizzes and exams. The instructor has regular teleconferences with students and discusses their work firsthand. A teaching assistant also supports the students. Students take pre- and postcourse tests and show gains typical of interactive science classes. The level of student support results in high student course completion rates.

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