15th Symposium on Education


Classroom Exercises in GIS Meteorology

Scott T. Shipley, George Mason Univ., Fairfax, Virginia

A comprehensive set of exercises has been developed for the Geography curriculum at George Mason University by the author, and offered as GEOG 309 – Introduction to Climate and Meteorology. This novel approach to the traditional undergraduate Weather and Climate course is made possible by new computerized classrooms at GMU's “Innovation Hall”, where each student has a Windows XP workstation with ESRI ArcGIS Desktop and access to the Internet. Students are introduced to meteorology using real weather data and phenomena, and learn how to use ArcGIS in the process. The set of twelve exercises closely follows the Ahrens © 2005 text, but branches out to include technical topics and methods that are easily introduced using GIS techniques. The exercises are: 1) surface charts, 2) upper air, 3) radiation, Sun & Galaxy, 4) satellites, 5) clouds & skew-T logP charts, 6) radar & precipitation, 7) numerical models, 8-10) severe storms, 11) climate change & ice ages, and 12) air pollution & air parcel trajectories. This approach to Weather and Climate tests Prof. Shipley's claim that the public of the future will be able to analyze complex information for themselves and draw their own conclusions, provided that they have access to that information. Such access is not assured, and is threatened by precautions imposed for national security, or cost barriers associated with commercialization and privatization. This set of GIS exercises gives students some of the tools they will need to prove that Global Warming is just a “bunch of hot air”.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (1.3M)

Supplementary URL: http://geog.gmu.edu/projects/wxproject/

Poster Session 1, Educational Initiatives
Sunday, 29 January 2006, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Exhibit Hall A2

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