89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009
Implementing AMS Ocean Studies into the University of Texas at Arlington Curriculum
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Cornelia Winguth, Univ. of Texas, Arlington, TX
The class “Introduction to Oceanography” has been offered irregularly in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in the past. Starting in Fall 2008, the class shall be taught annually using the AMS Ocean Studies material. The class is open to science as well as non-science majors, hence students' backgrounds, expectations, and goals will vary greatly. For some, the class will serve as preparation for a graduate-level oceanography class also offered at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

The class will be taught in a live-classroom setting. A lecture part, during which key concepts of each chapter will be emphasized and explained, will be followed by the discussion of current ocean news and investigations in small groups and complemented by individual investigations as homework assignments on a weekly basis. Students will also be encouraged to attend the WUN (World Universities Network) Horizons in Earth Systems video lecture series offered at UTA, especially the presentations related to current oceanic research, as well as ocean-related seminar talks in the Department. Concepts presented in these talks will be reviewed and discussed in class and linked to AMS Ocean Studies investigations, if applicable. Throughout the course, the role of the ocean in the earth system, especially with respect to its influence on weather and climate and on environmental issues, will be emphasized.

I will report on the progress of the implementation of the AMS Ocean Studies material in the classroom and lab environment at UTA and on the students' reactions to the course material.

UTA forms part of the University of Texas System and is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It serves about 25,000 students of diverse ethnicity, including 14.4 percent Hispanic, 13.9 percent African American and 0.5 Native American students. UTA offers about 180 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

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