3.3 GLOBE Atmosphere Protocols and Kite Remote Sensing Course Content: Innovations in Exposing HBCU Students to Climate Science

Tuesday, 8 January 2019: 9:00 AM
North 229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
David A. Padgett, Tennessee State Univ., Nashville, TN

The NASA Airborne Research Observation Kites and Tethered Systems (AEROKATS) program is a new initiative that utilizes “Aeropods” - low altitude remote sensing platforms, supported by custom-designed kites to perform atmospheric data sampling and aerial photography tasks. Tennessee State University (TSU) faculty members from several disciplines including agriculture, liberal arts, and education, are actively engaged in efforts supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, to pique the interest of students from populations traditionally underrepresented in geosciences.

NASA Engineer Geoff Bland, creator of the AEROKATS program, is collaborating with TSU faculty members to develop a new geoscience course and pertinent curriculum. This presentation includes a description of A two-day exercise led by Bland in May 2018 with students enrolled in Weather and Climate (GEOG 3500), one of TSU’s few geoscience courses. Significant talking points include:

- the AEROKATS program has the potential to provide learning opportunities in weather and climate science of interest to students majoring in numerous academic subjects including engineering, aeronautical technology, agriculture, education, liberal arts, and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

- there is great potential for the development of climate science curriculum and learning modules linking AEROKATS activities with the GLOBE Atmosphere Protocols, and the AMS Weather Studies Program real-time course content.

- there is significant potential for the creation of AEROKATS and GLOBE Protocols content including hands-on exercises with geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing, and other geospatial technologies.

The new course pilot will be offered in spring 2019. The preferred pool of students recruited to enroll will be those majoring in agriculture, education, and the STEM disciplines. Tennessee State University does not offer a meteorology major or minor program, a common challenge for HBCU faculty members and researchers working to attract students toward atmospheric science majors and careers. Students who complete the pilot course and subsequent versions and wish to continue along the atmospheric science path of study will be urged to participate in professional societies and conferences such as the AMS, AGU and the National Association of Black Geoscientists (NABG). They will be guided towards summer research and internship programs, and geosciences graduate programs. Evaluation materials to determine the impact of the course upon student learning, academic goals, and career choices are under development.

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