87th AMS Annual Meeting

Sunday, 14 January 2007
Supporting research efforts through enhanced education and hands-on learning: Issues of data quality and quantity
Exhibit Hall C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Lauren Bodenhamer, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and S. Postawko, M. Morrissey, and M. Koeka
Issues concerning data quality are always of utmost importance, and especially so when data are collected by “non-professionals”.

The Schools of the Pacific Rainfall Climate Experiment (SPaRCE) program is a cooperative field project involving interested participants from various Pacific island nations. The goals of the program are both research and education oriented. Specifically, the program's objective is to make a major contribution to the global climate research effort by collecting and analyzing Pacific island meteorological data. This is accomplished through increasing awareness in Pacific island schools and organizations as to the importance of cooperation in investigating potential climate change, and eliciting their help in data collection by sending them basic meteorological instruments.

Data from SPaRCE participants are incorporated into the Comprehensive Pacific Rainfall Database at the Environmental Verification and Analysis Center at the University of Oklahoma. These data have been used in a variety of projects, including the Merged Analysis of Precipitation product from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

This presentation will look at the data collected by SPaRCE participants over the past 15 years, and discuss issues of data quality and quantity. Current plans are for some participants to receive high-quality, tipping bucket rain gauges with data loggers. This presentation will also discuss the pros and cons, in terms of educational value, of manual-read versus automated instrumentation. In addition to rainfall, many SPaRCE participants have been collecting temperature data. Discussion of plans to include these data on-line in the near future will also be included in this presentation.

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