Confessions of a Faculty Convert: The Adventures of Data-Centered Research with Undergraduate Students
During the 2011-12 school year and fall 2013 semester, I worked with groups of eight to ten students on projects related to the snowfall climatology of the Lake Michigan region. The projects were organized into a class, to allow appropriate schedule time for all involved. In the first iteration, projects included building data sets of wintertime climatology in the Lake Michigan region, as well as GIS mapping of a previously-developed archive of lake-effect snow cases in Indiana and southwestern Michigan. In the fall of 2013, the next projects will build upon these, with a focus on November climatology; specifically, groups will focus on the synoptic classification of significant November snow days for the Lake Michigan region, as well as GIS mapping and additional exploration of the November data.
This talk will summarize the advantages and disadvantages of undertaking projects with undergraduate students, the effectiveness of approaches with the students, and also learning outcomes from the perspective of the students.