Integrating AMS Courses into the Curriculum at University of Maryland University College

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Carl Robert Berman Jr., University of Maryland, Austin, TX

Abstract submitted to The American Meteorological Society By Carl R. Berman, Jr., PhD University of Maryland University College

The mission of University of Maryland University College is to offer top-quality educational opportunities to adult students in Maryland, the nation, and the world, setting the global standard of excellence in adult education. By offering academic programs that are respected, affordable and accessible technologically and through a variety of face-to-face formats, UMUC broadens the range of career opportunities available to students, improves their lives, and maximizes their economic and intellectual contributions to Maryland, the nation, and the world.

Mission statement This mission is rooted in UMUC's institutional purpose as stipulated by State statute (Education Code, Section 13-101); specifically that the university shall: 1. Operate as Maryland's open university, serving nontraditional students who reside in Maryland, the United States and around the world; 2. Provide the citizens of Maryland with affordable, open access to higher education; 3. Continue as a leader in distributed education.

As the public state and national leader in distance and distributed education, UMUC awards associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as undergraduate and post-baccalaureate certificates. The university's academic inventory offers programs that are core to any public university, but UMUC's mission to the adult student results in an emphasis on workforce relevant programs. Consequently, the university awards degrees and certificates in the arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, business and management, health-related fields, computing, education and technology, including degrees in fields facing critical shortages, such as cybersecurity, information assurance and teacher training in STEM areas. As part of its emphasis on workforce needs, UMUC offers non-credit professional development programs such as those in executive leadership and, through its Inn and Conference Center and its Largo facility, hosts professional conferences and meetings that support the economic and societal needs of the State.

The Core Values The Core Values reflect UMUC's central and enduring tenets—a set of principles to guide institutional and individual professional behaviors. At UMUC, the way we do things is as important as the things we do. STUDENTS FIRST These are the people who make our work possible. ACCOUNTABILITY We are each responsible for our overall success. DIVERSITY Each individual brings value to our efforts and results. INTEGRITY Our principles and standards are never compromised. EXCELLENCE Outstanding quality is the hallmark of our work. INNOVATION We advance so others can benefit from our leadership. RESPECT The rights and feelings of others are always considered. Courses in Meteorology presented at UMUC

Course Description and goals for Introduction to Meteorology, NSCI 170 (undergraduate)

Description An introduction to the basic principles of atmospheric science. The goal is to use scientific and quantitative reasoning to make informed decisions about topics related to atmospheric science. Topics include the effect of different weather elements (such as temperature, pressure, winds, and humidity) on weather patterns and climate. Discussion also covers weather phenomena such as El Nino, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical cyclones, and midlatitude cyclones, as well as the impact of humans on Earth's atmosphere.

Goals/Objectives After completing this course, you should be able to • critically evaluate weather data, including observations of natural weather phenomena, to make informed decisions in daily life • apply scientific method to describe and interpret atmosphere processes • explain how climate change impacts weather • recognize the interrelationship between the atmosphere and other Earth systems to evaluate potential impacts

Course Description and goals Laboratory in Meteorology, NSCI 171 (undergraduate)

Description Prerequisite or corequisite: NSCI 170. An introduction to the basic concepts of meteorology. The aim is to apply the scientific method and use scientific and quantitative reasoning to make informed decisions about experimental results in meteorology. Focus is on the observation, measurement, and analysis of weather data, including the interpretation of weather patterns and conditions found on weather maps, satellite images, radar imagery, and atmosphere diagrams.

Goals/Objectives After completing this course, you should be able to • record, present, and interpret meteorological data in graphic, tabular, weather chart, and report formats • use the scientific method principles to determine the accuracy of weather forecasts • analyze the life cycle of tornadoes, midlatitude cyclones, and tropical cyclones evaluate data to determine how human and natural processes can influence climate change The intent is to integrate the AMS course into the new learning management system that UMUC has adopted (Desire-to-Learn, D2L). The AMS course will replace the ongoing introductory course while the real-time analysis of weather phenomena will become the core of the lab activities. These courses are designed to give the students a basic knowledge of meteorology so that they can be better informed about the scope and quantity of weather information with which they come in contact almost daily. UMUC hopes to offer the new curriculum in the Spring of 2014


The workshop, which was held in the Washington DC area, was an important introduction not only to the AMS programs but also to the activities of NOAA, NASA, and other organizations involved with meteorological science. The workshop was valuable in that the various site visits emphasized the fact that minority students can and do play an important role in ongoing meteorological studies and that the field is open to all qualified applicants.


The generation of students who are now in receiving an education in meteorological science will be the ones who will have to deal with the very real problems of Climate Change. They will be in the vanguard that will bring the harsh reality of this situation to a sometimes-skeptical public. These students will be the ones to whom future populations will look to for solutions to problems such as global warming, sea level rise and many others. They will have obstacles to overcome, such as the politicization of climate issues, and the agendas of those who still refuse to admit there is a problem. The more good information based on sound research they can bring to the table, the better. That is the goal of the AMS program.