Using Operational and Experimental Observations in Education: Highlights from the 2009 Unidata Users Workshop

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 2:15 PM
B214 (GWCC)
Brian J. Etherton, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; and S. Arms, L. D. Oolman, D. G. Lackmann, M. K. Ramamurthy, and L. I. Miller

Increasing enrollment in undergraduate meteorology programs around the nation can be attributed to a number of factors, including the fact that students are drawn to this field through fascinating experiences during high-impact meteorological events. These personal observations can stimulate a fascination that carries over to inspiration for careers in the atmospheric sciences. Given that observations and their analysis are critically important, and that it is essential that students educated in our field retain a connection with physical observations, and the challenges and limitations of data collection and analysis, the selected emphasis for the 2009 Unidata Triennial Workshop was observations and their use in geoscience education.

As part of its mission, the Unidata Program Center (UPC), working closely with the Unidata Users Committee, holds summer workshops every three years on topics of interest to a broad community of users in the geosciences. The 2009 workshop is the latest in a series of eight workshops dating back to 1988, ranging in topics from "Teaching Mesoscale Meteorology in the Age of the Modernized National Weather Service" (1994) to "Shaping the Future: Unidata Users as Leaders" (2000), and was complementary to the 2006 workshop "Expanding the Use of Models in the Atmospheric and Related Sciences". In addition to providing a forum for addressing notable issues in enhancing teaching in the atmospheric and related sciences, the triennial workshops have been an important venue for the community to come together to share ideas as well as course materials, and engage in in-depth discussion on ways to improve student learning.

The goals of this workshop were to (a) expand the use of instrumentation and observations in geoscience education and (b) share hands on activities, curricular materials, and ideas for improving teaching and learning [in the geosciences]. The focus areas of the workshop were: Remote Sensing, Instrumentation, Field Experiments, Data Assimilation, Climate, Air Quality, and Emerging Technologies. This year's participants, 81 in number, arrived from four foreign institutions, 32 universities (foreign and domestic), and 3 US government labs.

This AMS annual meeting presentation will feature the highlights of the 2009 workshop, including on-line resources, data assimilation tools, working with observing systems, with data, as well as weather in a tank.