87th AMS Annual Meeting

Sunday, 14 January 2007
Weather & Climate Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi, Department of Geography and Geology
Exhibit Hall C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Jerry A. Griffith, Univ. of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Courses on weather and climate as well as research in these areas have been components of the Department of Geography at the University of Southern Mississippi throughout its history. While earlier emphases for junior and senior undergraduates and graduate students have included broadcast meteorology and severe storm analysis, the present focus has shifted towards applied climatology, remote sensing and quaternary studies. However, at the introductory level, meteorology and climate are receiving greater attention. In 2003, the department split the semester-long Physical Geography of the Environment course into two semester-long classes, the first being Weather & Climate, and the other Landforms, Hydrology and Biogeography. The Weather & Climate class is quickly becoming a student favorite, and has experienced increased enrollments every year it has been taught. To further support this course, we hope to implement the Online Weather Studies produced by the American Meteorological Society as an additional option for taking this course. The access to students off-campus, including the ability to take a laboratory course online, and the availability of a tremendous variety of prime daily weather imagery make this offering particularly attractive.

Also, this poster will briefly highlight other weather/climate courses as well as some of the weather and climate research taking place in the department. Most of this research has been applied in nature and includes 1) modeling malaria outbreaks in Kenya using satellite metrics and dekadal rainfall and temperature data, 2)documentation of flooding changes in a rapidly urbanizing region of Hattiesburg, MS, 3)environmental impacts of Hurricane Katrina, and 4) climatological studies of the Andes Mountains region using pollen analysis as an indicator of past vegetation and climate.

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