10.5 Continuing to Educate the Instructors

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 5:00 PM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Gerald J. Mulvey, Univ. of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX

The science of meteorology is relatively young.  The modern era of meteorology can be said to have started in the 1800’s with the French and United Stated governments establishing their National Weather Services, (Inness and Dorling, 2013).  The pace of scientific endeavor and accomplishment accelerated with Richardson’s first numerical weather prediction efforts, the weather forecasting for  World War II for military operations and the construction of the first computer produced numerical weather prediction.  The acceleration of knowledge and research has continued since those early days.  Meteorologists today, in particular those who are educators, find knowledge learned in the military learning or the university training of 40 to 50 years ago to be insufficient to meet the requirements of their daily professional challenges.  Updating ones knowledge base is no longer a distant goal but an annual requirement.  To meet this challenge a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations offer on-line and in class course, such as MetEd (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's (UCAR's) Community Programs, COMET® Program.)  Professional organizations such as the American Meteorological Society (AMS) have sponsored technical conferences, short courses and has an education program aimed at all interest levels.  The university instructors however must be on the leading edge of new developments in the field as they train the next generation of professionals.  Climate change is one of the most fast changing, high impact, and publically discussed areas of meteorology.  The AMS has pursued this training goal through the AMS Weather Studies, AMS Ocean Studies and Geosciences Diversity/National Dissemination Projects (AMS 2016). The latest of these hands-on workshops was the AMS Climate Studies Diversity Project, Faculty Professional Development Workshops on climate change (Brey et al 2016.)  This project offers three workshops:
  • Climate Studies
  • Paleoclimate through Ocean Cores
  • School of Ice

All of these workshops provided a unique experience for university teachers

1)      Reasonable duration 3-5 days

2)      Lectures/ discussion from leaders in the field

3)      Hands on Lab work

4)      Open sessions to talk with scientists involved with the collection, evaluation and analysis of the climate data

This context rich hands on lab work with actual field samples provides the authentic experience that instructors need to combine the real event of the experiment and first hand descriptions with, in some cases, physical samples for their students. The key is the handling and preparation of field samples, tangible evidence that can be examined by the students (Mulvey 2016 -a, Mulvey 2016 -b).  This presentation will describe the process used in the School of Ice for training the instructors to prepare, and analyze samples, and how that translates into an experience that can be shared with the students as well as other faculty members.


Operational Weather Forecasting, (2013), Inness, P., and S. Dorling, A. John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex, UK, p231

AMS Education Program Diversity Initiatives: A Celebration of the Past as We Look Forward to New Opportunities to Increase Environmental Literacy(2016), Brey, J., E. Mills, I. Geer, K. Nugnes, and A. Stimach, American Meteorological Society, 25th Symposium on Education, New Orleans, LA


Climate Studies Diversity Project,2016, American Meteorological Society, Accesses June 19, 2016


Outcomes and Applications of the AMS/NSF Consortium for Ocean Leadership, MSI REaCH Project Workshop: Tools for the University Professor, (2016) Mulvey G., American Meteorological Society 25th Symposium on Education- poster session, 96th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, January 2016, in New Orleans, LA. (a)


On the Use of Multi-Disciplinary Climate Literacy Teaching in Building Interest in Science, (2016), Mulvey G., American Meteorological Society 25th Symposium on Education- poster session, 96th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, January 2016, in New Orleans, LA. (b)


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