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

Thursday, 26 January 2012: 11:00 AM
Training University Faculty to Teach Future Meteorologists to Incorporate GOES-R Data in the Forecast Process
Room 343/344 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Elizabeth Mulvihill Page, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO; and S. Q. Kidder, W. Schreiber-Abshire, and B. Guarente

During the summer of 2011, the COMET Program offered a residence course in Boulder, Colorado to university faculty entitled, “Integrating Satellite Data and Products into Geoscience Courses with Emphasis on Advances in Geostationary Satellite Systems.” This course was designed to prepare them to teach about current advanced capabilities as well as next generation satellite data and products before these new systems become operational. The participants in the course teach students that include meteorology majors as well as non-science majors participating in survey earth science courses and even high school science students.

With special funding from the NOAA/NESDIS/GOES-R Program, COMET was able to add to the tradition of enhancing faculty geoscience knowledge through targeted training opportunities. Twenty-four faculty members from across the US, Central America, and the Caribbean participated in this 4.5 day course. Via lectures, laboratory exercises, and student projects these faculty are now better prepared to exploit current satellite capabilities as well as next generation satellite data and products as they instruct their students. Since many of the instructors also teach survey earth science courses, they will impart this knowledge to many non-science majors.

The students were able to learn from a variety of experts and hear about new plans for satellite sensors, data, and products. These experts provided lectures on a variety of current and advanced satellite-related topics. Additional sessions were devoted to hands-on exercises in which participants used both Linux and PC workstations for lab activities that focused on lecture topics and related teaching resources. Topics covered included 1) current and future GOES satellite systems 2) introduction to the over 70 hours of free education and training materials directly related to satellite meteorology on the MetEd Website (meted.ucar.edu), 3) practice repurposing content from COMET modules, 4) exposure to using the Environmental Satellite Resource Center (meted.ucar.edu/esrc), 5) application of imagery to a variety of weather forecasting products, and 6) technology to facilitate classroom exercises and demonstrations. A midweek field trip to the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) in Fort Collins allowed participants to interact with satellite experts on a variety of topics including applications to tropical meteorology. Also, short real-time weather briefings demonstrated the application of these data to evaluating current and forecast weather conditions.

As an integral part of the course, each participant was required to work on a project that would describe how they planned to incorporate the information from the class into their courses and research. Some participants' projects even began to implement new material in to their lectures for the fall semester beginning just weeks after the course. Their projects demonstrated the diversities of their interests, the courses that they teach, and their target student populations. Plans included incorporating the use of specialized products for evaluating convective initiation, overshooting tops, and dust and aerosols, to name a few. Also, many planned to increase the use of satellite data in case study examples as part of their lecture materials. The participants remarked on how much they learned not only from the course to expand their instruction beyond visible, infrared, and water vapor interpretation, but also from their classmates and their ideas. To facilitate the dissemination of the content of the course into the classrooms, all of the lecture and lab materials were made available to the participants.

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