Bringing Atmospheric Sciences to a Geoscience Field Course for Undergraduates

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 4:45 PM
Room C109 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Neil F. Laird, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY

Geoscience is the study and understanding of the processes that comprise the entire Earth System, as well as how those processes have played out over time and their continued influence. At Hobart & William Smith Colleges the Department of Geoscience brings together faculty across the Atmospheric, Hydrologic, and Geologic Sciences. Extended field-based academic courses have traditionally been an important tool for teaching in the discipline of Geology and have seen limited application to teaching in the Atmospheric Sciences. Field courses often bring students to some of the Earth's most interesting places since the natural environment within reasonable distances from college and university campuses are limited in their connection to a broad range of Geoscience topics.

The Department of Geoscience at Hobart & William Smith Colleges has recently developed and offered a new field-based undergraduate course to teach students using an immersion, hands-on approach that incorporates projects focused on weather, climate, hydrology, and geology. The field course has been offered as a two-week experience during each of the last four years. The presentation will focus on the challenges and benefits to providing students this type of opportunity, specifically with respect to students studying in the atmospheric sciences. Specific examples will be provided based on field courses co-lead by the author to Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest during the last two years.