Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 8:45 AM
Implementation of the WRF Model for Teaching Scientific Methodology in an Undergraduate Tropical Meteorology Course
206B (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Students in undergraduate tropical meteorology courses at Creighton University and the University of Cologne in Germany use an implementation of the WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) model to simulate the mesoscale and large scale structure of the atmosphere during the West African monsoon. Individual students are provided with loosely-worded ideas, which they must formulate into testable hypotheses. Each student then modifies the initial and/or boundary conditions of the model and generates control and experimental runs of the model. In recent semesters, the hypotheses have dealt with the role of soil moisture in the maintenance of the African Easterly Jet. Initial and/or boundary conditions are generated by the students within the familiar Microsoft Excel environment, but students must gain familiarity with Unix in order to execute the model using these grids. The results of the students' experiments are then summarized by oral presentations in class.