AMS Climate Studies Course Implementation at TAMUK

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Brent C. Hedquist, Texas A&M University, Kingsville, TX; and B. K. Gonzalez

The AMS Climate Studies course was first implemented within the Department of Physics and Geosciences at Texas A&M University (TAMUK) during the fall 2012 semester. During the first semester, the textbook was only used, with previous lab material from another source. Students had a difficult time making a connection with some of the key concepts due to the lecture material not always corresponding to the lab material, especially during the middle topics of the textbook. However, in spring 2013, The Investigations Manual as well as the course website was utilized in the lab section in addition to the textbook in lecture. The students performed much better on assessments overall. They also really enjoyed discussions on the topic of natural and anthropogenic climate change.

The course implementation workshop in Washington D.C. in May 2013 was very helpful and informative. There were plenty of opportunities to hear from expert speakers on topics such global change and sustainability and this will provide further training on how to convey this information to the students a TAMUK. There were also opportunities to visit facilities such as NASA and NOAA which provide imagery and data used in the Climate Studies course. Visiting these facilities can only enhance the instructor's ability to lead in-class discussion on topics involving data and imagery from these sites. Networking with other instructors planning on implementing the AMS Climate Studies course material was also a plus and provided a group of other people that could be called on if there were any questions on teaching the course.

The Climate Studies course is offered at within our department twice a year at TAMUK to principally non-science majors taking the course to fulfill general education requirements in science. TAMUK serves a predominantly Hispanic student body (62%) as well as underrepresented students principally from the South Texas region.