Effective Strategies for Educating the Public at the “Home of the World's Worst Weather” Using Video-Conferencing Technology

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Brian J. Fitzgerald, Mount Washington Observatory, North Conway, NH; and M. Cruz, R. Scholand, and W. Broussard

In 2009 the non-profit Mount Washington Observatory launched a distance learning program using innovative video-conferencing technology, granting Weather Observers and Educational staff located at the summit of Mount Washington (6,288') an ability to connect virtually with classrooms across North America. Extensive technical upgrades, content development, and nearly four years of program delivery have led to a refined, effective educational tool that seeks to bring a human element to the understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate. Our location on Mount Washington, both a culturally significant landmark and home to an historical record of extreme weather, serves to enhance the quality of these programs.

Our presentation outlines the strategies for communicating lessons on weather observation, fundamentals of climate, the alpine environment and the operation of a mountain top weather station. Additionally, an explanation of education staffing and logistics will provide an insight into program management, outreach and promotion, and the establishment of a client base. As we continue to offer this constantly evolving program we envision an educational product that seeks strong engagement and interaction with the students it serves.