Monday, 23 January 2012
Opening the Technological Black Box: Meteorology and Technology Education At Valparaiso University
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Students coming to colleges and universities today have more experience using computers than at anytime in history. However, the prior use of computers does not mean that these students are ready and able to use technology to answer scientific questions. Since the 1950's, computers have been used extensively in the study of the atmosphere; therefore, a major objective of an undergraduate meteorology program should be focused on technological education. Anecdotal evidence suggests that students participating in the meteorological technology courses are often better prepared to enter the job market or graduate school as compared to those who do not take those courses. This paper describes the multifaceted efforts underway at Valparaiso University to provide meteorological technology education throughout the four-year curriculum. The program offers both formal courses related to various forms of technology (e.g., Introduction to Weather Technology, Meteorological Computer Applications, Atmospheric Instrumentation, Data Analysis, and Numerical Weather Prediction) as well as assignments within required courses that make substantial use of technology. In addition, students gain experience through out-of-class opportunities such as, operating a dual-polarization Doppler radar and participating in radiosonde balloon launches.