92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012
Investigating the Earth System Using Real-World Data Through AMS Ocean, Weather, and Climate Studies
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
James A. Brey, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC; and I. W. Geer, R. S. Weinbeck, E. W. Mills, and K. A. Nugnes

It is becoming increasingly important to increase the scientific literacy of all students in the geosciences. To this end, the Education Program of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) considers the development of high-caliber, scientifically authentic educational materials to be one of its highest priorities. With support from NSF, NASA, and NOAA, AMS is able to offer introductory, undergraduate courses that engage students in relevant topics in the geosciences by investigating current topics in the Earth sciences through the use of real-world environmental data.

AMS Ocean Studies, AMS Weather Studies, and AMS Climate Studies are designed to be adaptable to traditional, hybrid, or online instructional settings and have already been adopted by more than 600 colleges and universities across the United States.

The courses consist of a fully-integrated set of printed and online learning materials, including a comprehensive textbook, Investigations Manual, and a course website. Updated yearly, the Investigations Manual contains 30 laboratory activities, two per textbook chapter, and innovatively connects with a third online component, Current Ocean/Weather/Climate Studies, via the course website. These online investigations use data from the NOS, NWS, reports from the IPCC, NAS, and other lead scientific organizations. The course website is an all-inclusive webpage that provides links to numerous external sources as well as other information to further engage and educate students. Instructors can use these materials in any combination that best suits their needs.

The AMS Ocean Studies student package also includes an inflatable globe which helps students understand complex oceanographic principles, such as the Coriolis force, plate tectonics, and ocean circulation.

The new, significantly revised Ocean Studies 3rd Edition textbook will be used beginning Fall 2011 and features up-to-date coverage of ocean issues, including the 2011 Japan tsunami, 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, ocean acidification, and harmful algal blooms. Expanded coverage of overfishing, mariculture, lost wetlands, restoration of the Chesapeake Bay estuary, and threats to coral reefs along with reviews of the latest oceanographic technology are also discussed.

In addition, course instructors receive a Faculty CD containing Investigations Manual answer forms, test bank questions and answers compatible with Respondus® course management system. The faculty member has the option of delivering questions through their course management system to allow automatic scoring and immediate results for their students. This feature allows for full integration to a college's e-learning environment.

The flexibility of AMS Climate, Weather, and Ocean Studies allow instructors from a variety of Earth Science disciplines to offer the courses. Mentoring by AMS-trained course instructors is available to all new instructors. This gives colleges and universities, which would otherwise not have any exposure to the AMS disciplines, a meaningful, cost-effective way to expand their geoscience offerings. For more information, please visit http://www.ametsoc.org/amsedu.

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