Climate Studies at a California Community College through AMS
Imperial Valley College (IVC) is part of the Imperial Community College District and is located in Imperial, Ca. IVC is a Hispanic serving institution with a student population of 9,000. The American Meteorology Society's (AMS's) Climate Studies Course will be taught through the Science, Math and Engineering Division (Science Department) and as part of the geology program and cross-listed with geography classes. The geology program currently has one full time instructor and one adjunct instructor. The courses offered include Physical Geology, Earth and Space Science and Geology of National Parks. Typical students in the geology program are non-science majors and are taking the course to satisfy their general requirements for an Associate's Degree or to transfer to a university.
The application to offer the climate studies course is submitted and going through the approval process at IVC. Implementation of the climate course is tentatively scheduled for spring of 2014, but no later then fall of 2014. It will be offered as a three-credit course that meets once per week for a 90 minute lecture and 90 minutes of climate exercises and related activities. There is no prerequisite for the course. Initially, when the course is first offered in 2014, there will be one section offering as a hybrid course (on-campus lectures and related activities; online quizzes, assignments and investigations through Blackboard) by one instructor. The class will be capped at 30 students.
AMS's climate studies textbook will be the primary textbook used during the semester (16 weeks in duration). All 15 chapters will be covered, although some not in their entirety. Climate investigations will also be assigned from AMS's climate studies manual. Student assessments will include lecture sketches and concept maps; lecture tests and lab manual assignments; group presentations and participation during in-class activities. Short lectures will be followed by a variety of in-class activities (mentioned above) to support and enhance student learning by tapping in to their analytical and critical thinking abilities. Blackboard will be used to supplement student's learning through quizzes and other assignments.
At the AMS workshop this year much valuable insight was given on how to successfully implement the climate studies course. The data and educational resources made available by AMS, NASA and NOAA are invaluable for developing this course, and creating class activities, as well as establishing contacts at other colleges and government agencies. Through time as this course is offered the AMS website and other government websites will be used to supplement student's learning through investigations using real data.