Progress of Implementation of AMS Climate Studies Course
Participation in the Course Implementation Workshop, which was organized by AMS/SNF OEDG as part of the Climate Studies Diversity Project Workshop (May 19-24, 2013, Silver Spring, MD), was very successful in delivering what climate change is, its cause, effect, and possible mitigation opportunities. The workshop was well organized and gave participants a good opportunity to grasp very essential know-how and experience in a relatively short time. The systematic and sequential presentations of topics related to the subject matter at the workshop has also clearly outlined the fact that climate change is real and became more adverse, relatively in recent years, mainly due to human activities. The adverse effect of climate change on health, economy, biodiversity, and social lives are being felt. Fortunately, there are possibilities and opportunities to mitigate it and develop adaptability techniques. The major problem is not lack of information and technique, but how to create awareness in the society for changing lifestyles in order to minimize the per-capita carbon foot print, particularly in the developed world. Moreover, systematically organized presentations on the workshop, by experts from various climate science related organizations, has helped in expanding the knowledge scope on climate science. The actual visits to to the different organizations involved in weather and climate science related activities, and familiarizing oneself in the day to day research and data collection activities definitely help participants for better formulation and implementation of climate course offerings in their respective higher learning institutions. Presentation of AMS Education Program has also made climate science course offering plans more elaborate; particularly the briefing on how the investigation manual could be purchased and used by students, and the availability of course and faculty websites, faculty resources, and course management systems. In addition to the various presentations and discussions made on the workshop, which helped participants to share ideas and experiences among themselves, the field visits to the different organizations, like NASA and NOAA, that are engaged in climate science and related studies and observations, has given workshop participants the opportunity to to actually see and understand the techniques and material equipment used in data collection, processing, and dissemination of weather and climate information.
The AMS Climate Studies Course will be offered at Bowie State University (BSU) starting from spring 2014 semester. The textbook on climate studies, along with the investigation manual and lecture resources on CD, have already been received from AMS. The course proposal is under preparation and at the beginning of the fall, 2013 semester, it will go through the course approval process, starting from the level of the departmental curriculum committee, and then all the way up. Since the initiation of climate studies course offering has originated at the level of BSU higher officials, who also approved the participation of the faculty member in the workshop, and the Master Course License Agreement with the AMA has already been signed by the the Chair Peron of the Department of Natural Sciences, the acceptance of the course to be included in the university curricula is evident. The course is expected to be approved and opened for spring 2014 semester registration, and will most likely be an elective science course for both science and non-science undergraduate students.
Bowie State University (BSU) is an HBCU, which is also a signatory of the ACUPCC, committed to scientifically necessary goals of climate neutrality. For attaining the sustainability mission, the University has an established Climate Commitment Coordinating Committee called C4, with 15 members representing different departments, and chaired by one of the University Vice Presidents. The pledged mission of the University C4 in brief is to create awareness in the University community and prepare detailed participatory action plans for creating sustainable campus that operates under sound environmental principles.