7.1 Storm Quest: Using Summer Field Courses on Convection to Enhance the Undergraduate Meteorology Experience

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 8:30 AM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Shawn M. Milrad, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Daytona Beach, FL; and T. Guinn and C. G. Herbster

Experiential learning courses can be a unique and extremely rewarding opportunity for atmospheric science undergraduates.  Over the past two summers, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach has offered 3-credit classes based on field observations of convection:  A mobile Doppler Radar course and storm-chasing course.  Both courses allowed students opportunities to make real-time collaborative weather forecasts, take real-time weather observations, better understand visual thunderstorm cues, and analyze collected data in a post-observational research capacity.  In 2015, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Convective-Boundary Research Engaging Educational Student Experiences (ERAU C-BREESE) was an 18-day National Science Foundation (NSF) funded educational Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW) deployment through the Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR).  ERAU undergraduate meteorology students had the unique opportunity to forecast for, collect, and analyze mobile radar measurements of Florida sea-breeze convection.  The success and notoriety of ERAU C-BREESE allowed for the development of a 3-credit “Storm Chase” course that took place during the first summer term of 2016.  Students and instructors traveled to the Great Plains for nearly two weeks to forecast and observe severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.  Both courses were immense successes for the ERAU Meteorology Program and its students.  Feedback from students was extremely positive and planning for future experiential learning courses is already underway.  This presentation will detail the scientific objectives, logistics, lessons learned, and educational value of each course.
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