1.3 Can the K–12 Public School System Be Leveraged as Part of the Weather-Ready Nation Initiative?

Monday, 13 January 2020: 11:00 AM
153C (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
John M. Lanicci, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile, AL; and S. K. Guffey

Handout (930.6 kB)

The authors are building a research proposal to leverage the K-12 public school system as one of the means for achieving the National Weather Service’s vision of a Weather Ready Nation (https://www.weather.gov/wrn/). As the WRN initiative looks to build resilience within the U.S. population to extreme weather, water, and climate events, it contains considerable research investments in science and technology as well as in social and behavioral science (SBS). The SBS focus has been on weather communications/messaging and development of impact-based products, with the goal of having the public make informed decisions when extreme events are forecast for an area. We believe that while the SBS initiatives are noteworthy, a more formal approach to the educational component is necessary to achieve success. We believe that one of the most effective ways to reach the greatest segment of the population is through the public school system. To our knowledge there is no plan to formally leverage the public school system in the WRN initiative. Additionally, there are few studies that have investigated the efficacy of such an approach, save for the Stewart et al. (2018) study conducted for K-8 teachers and students in Georgia. Our study seeks to develop a methodology for identifying and addressing the formal educational deficiencies in both the WRN plan and the public school system regarding weather education. The first step will adapt a weather taxonomy originally developed by Lanicci et al. (2017) for education and training of general aviation pilots to create a proof-of-concept WRN-based curriculum that “connects the dots” from basic meteorological theory and concepts, through identification of weather hazards, to understanding products and messaging for making safe, informed decisions in hazardous weather situations. Our study also proposes to address issues involving teacher qualification/preparation and national/state curriculum standards compliance, which are critical components of a successful formal educational strategy.


Lanicci, J.M., T. Guinn, J.M. King, E.L. Blickensderfer, R.L. Thomas, and Y. Ortiz, 2017: A proposed weather taxonomy for general aviation pilot education and training. 18th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology (American Meteorological Society), Seattle, WA. Retrieved from https://ams.confex.com/ams/97Annual/webprogram/Paper315244.html.

Stewart, A.E., J.A. Knox, and P. Schneider, 2018: Reaching Students and Parents Through Weather Science and Safety Workshops for Teachers. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,99, 1545–1555, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0114.1

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