Modular inclusion, overall progress, challenges and results of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Online Weather Studies program at NHU.
The University, founded in 1981, occupied an abandoned elementary school beginning in the 1990s. But in June of 2004, the University opened a new educational facility containing two scientific laboratories and two computer laboratories. With the new facility came the ability to embark on a multi-year endeavor to enhance science courses. An effort towards that goal is the adoption of the special American Meteorological Society (AMS) program being conducted in partnership with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) to provide students at minority-serving colleges and universities with access to Online Weather Studies.
The AMS Online Weather Studies Diversity Project is a major part of the AMS mission to expand the offering of geoscience study opportunities to students who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences, mathematics, and technology and to increase the participation by minorities in science careers, including atmospheric science and science teaching. Support for this AMS Diversity Project is provided by the NSF's Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences and the Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement – National Dissemination Programs.
Online Weather Studies sections are partially delivered over the Internet. Students have hands-on learning experiences by completing two laboratory-like investigations each week, which they complete using daily meteorological data from the AMS Online Weather Studies website, during the semester based on current weather. Students are also exposed to the recent advances in atmospheric sciences. To stimulate additional interest an online weather briefing will be available.
The immediate course goal is to find a subject specific foundation of an inquiry-based-approach designed to enhance our skill in teaching our students to think critically and learn independently. The short-term goal of the AMS Online Weather Studies Diversity Project adoption components is to make NHU undergraduates more aware of the geosciences and opportunities for internships, summer employment, and more advanced study. A long-term aspect of the implementation effort for the fall Geo 200 course program is for more minorities to enter the workforce as geoscientists or geoscience teachers.