2.1 A Course in Forensic Meteorology: Effective Communication of Analyses and Conclusions

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 10:30 AM
309 (Washington State Convention Center)
Elizabeth Austin, WeatherExtreme Ltd., Fallbrook, CA; and M. L. Kaplan

During the Spring Semester 2010 a graduate-level course in Forensic Meteorology was taught at the University of Nevada at Reno. An integral part of this course was ‘Effective Communication”. The students were video taped in ‘mock trial' scenarios and the class reviewed these tapes together. The University of Nevada at Reno has a state-of-the-art courtroom as part of its Judicial College. This courtroom was utilized for portions of this course.

The spoken word, the written word and graphics all play a key role in effectively communicating ones point. These topics were an underlying theme for this Forensic Meteorology course. Each student was randomly assigned a ‘real life' forensic meteorology case to work on during the entire semester. At the end of the semester the students presented their case to the class through a seminar-format and also were called to the stand in the courtroom to defend their case. These cases ranged from aviation to automobile accidents to hurricanes and tornadoes. Due to the interest in the class, both graduate and undergraduate students were allowed to take the course. Small segments of the student videos as well as an overall presentation of the course will be discussed.

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