187 Supporting Upper-level Earth Sciences Coursework at Universities: Supplemental Laboratory Packages and Webinars from The COMET® Program

Monday, 11 January 2016
Andrea M. Smith, UCAR, Boulder, CO; and M. Kelsch and J. B. Basara

Handout (2.9 MB)

To fulfill its strategic goal of increasing support to UCAR member universities, The COMET® Program is introducing more offerings that support university earth science classrooms, especially at middle and upper levels. Two recent examples of this work - an expert webinar, and a supplementary laboratory package - are discussed herein.

In spring semester 2015, the University of Oklahoma's upper-level hydrometeorology course included an atmospheric rivers webinar created and delivered by COMET. Course enrollees paid a flat fee to participate in the 90-minute GoToWebinar session. COMET staff tailored the session to overall course objectives and previously covered topics. COMET staff further consulted with UCAR and NOAA hydrometeorology experts to ensure the most relevant and current experience for students.

In fall semester 2015, the University of Oklahoma's senior-level synoptic meteorology laboratory will use supplementary activities developed by COMET. For many years, professors have harnessed course supplement packages, from the robust AMS Weather Studies package to the CDs and printed lab manuals that can be purchased with texts. However, these materials tend to be less commonly available for upper-level coursework.

Students will pay a laboratory fee to access a course site customized to the instructor's class schedule and topics outline. The site will contain new laboratory activities along with customized sets of existing COMET module materials. Planned laboratory activities will harness both simulated and observational examples of topic-appropriate weather phenomena so that students can hone their analysis and diagnosis skills.

A general overview and summary of outcomes for both the hydrometeorology webinar and synoptic course laboratory support package, including student and instructor opinions, will be presented at the January meeting.

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