The Online Weather Studies class has been offered three times and received positive evaluations. The class was chosen as an honors course taught in the fall of 2005. In spring of 2006 its instructor received a special grant to teach it in the summer of 2006. The first two times the class was taught in a traditional format, as a 4-credit (3 lecture+1 lab) general education science class. The course was taught in a computerized physics lab, which allowed easy incorporation of work with the AMS course website, computer animations, maps and other online materials in the class. A VantagePro 2 automatic meteorological station was purchased in order to make meteorological observations part of the curriculum. The course also included two field trips: local NWS forecast office in Sterling, VA and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). Currently, a completely online class is being taught utilizing Desire2Learn as a course management system.
An Online Ocean Studies class has been scheduled for a first time offering in the fall of 2006. The course will be taught in the traditional format, as a general education 4-credit-hours science class. An aggressive advertising campaign emphasized course involvement with major contemporary environmental issues. A field (boat) trip to Chesapeake Bay, utilizing the educational program of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, is planned as well as field trips to NOAA facilities. This class will also be taught in a computerized lab and utilize opportunities provided by modern educational and oceanographic technology. By the time this presentation is made the course will be completed and the presentation will contain the instructor's evaluation of his fresh teaching experience.