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

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 4:15 PM
The Return of the Mini-Course: Online and Field-Based Applied Meteorology for Majors
Room 348/349 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Paul Ruscher, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL

Poster PDF (7.9 MB)

In partnership with the MetEd program at UCAR and COMET, six new 1-credit senior level courses have been developed to facilitate intense study on special topics of interest to Meteorology seniors who have been unable to find coursework in areas of interest to them. FSU offers a comprehensive BS degree plan for Meteorology, but very few electives, owing in large part to the constraints imposed on a statewide system with mandatory community college transfers. The only routinely offered undergraduate electives are a course in instruments and observations (remote sensing is required), a course in weathercasting, and a course in operational meteorology taught by the collocated NWS office.

Students have always seemed to want more, yet our curriculum has not been flexible enough to allow for expansion into areas of interest such as mesoscale and tropical meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, and micrometeorology. After teaching for years in the synoptic laboratory, you hear a few things, and I came up with a list of six classes that I thought I could populate with a combination of field activities and online learning. The courses have been a tremendous success with the students, and require very little effort beyond the initial planning and grade management. A grading rubric has been developed that seems to favor the student, based on MetEd grade reports emailed directly to the instructor.

Potential issues including grade inflation, plagiarism and cheating will be addressed with relevance to FSU's changes in institutional policies motivated by recent national exposure. The benefits to the students are tremendous - and the six topic areas are certainly relevant to a wide range of future opportunities (air pollution, hydrometeorology, tropical meteorology, boundary layer meteorology, coastal meteorology, and marine meteorology).

Supplementary URL: http://yankee.met.fsu.edu/~Paul/Mini/