87th AMS Annual Meeting

Sunday, 14 January 2007
Introducing Online Ocean Studies at a large urban community college
Exhibit Hall C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Alta S. Cate, Houston Community College, Central Campus, Houston, TX
Houston Community College System (HCC) is the largest community college in Texas and the fourth largest in the nation. Each semester, over 50,000 students receive their training and education from our experienced and dedicated faculty. HCC is comprised of six regional colleges with numerous learning centers serving greater Houston. It is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and serves a diversified student group. Overall, the percentage of students from all minority ethnic groups in HCC is 71% (Hispanic, African American, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Other). I have been a full-time instructor at HCCS Central Campus since 1997. I have taught Introduction to Oceanography (Geology 1345) for several years both in a traditional classroom setting and as an internet-based course. I have a great interest in using investigations in which students use satellite observations and other data available online. I have designed several individual and group activities using online data with varying degrees of success. In June, 2006, I attended the AMS Online Ocean Studies Course Implementation Workshop in Seattle seeking ways in which to improve my course. Many ideas presented at the workshop such as the pressure block activities, El Nino charts and Coriolis demonstrations are simple, effective and will be incorporated into my courses Fall, 2006. The Online Ocean Studies Investigations Manual provides an excellent, comprehensive resource. In Fall Semester, 2006, I plan to introduce several investigations from the manual to supplement existing assignments. I expect that the addition of AMS resources to my existing classes will provide more engaging classroom activities and assignments resulting in an enhanced learning environment for the students. I am excited about using the entire packet when I offer Online Ocean Studies in Spring, 2007.

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