15th Symposium on Education


Progress Towards Implementation of the American Meteorological Society Online Weather Studies Course at Clark Atlanta University

Randal L. N. Mandock, Clark Atlanta Univ., Atlanta, GA; and G. W. Grams

The Presenter, Dr. Randal Mandock, attended the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Online Weather Studies Workshop at the National Weather Service Training Center (NWSTC) in Kansas City, Missouri, from 15-20 May 2005. Building on guidance received at this workshop, Dr. Mandock has begun to implement the Online Weather Studies course at Clark Atlanta University (CAU). The course is scheduled to be taught during the Spring semester 2006 as Physics 353: "Weather Analysis and Prediction." Although earth and atmospheric science courses have traditionally been difficult to fill at CAU, it is hoped that publication of a press release several weeks prior to pre-registration during the Fall semester 2005 and reminders for the remainder of the semester will help bring in the posted enrollment number of 20 students.

At the time of submission of this abstract Dr. Mandock is planning to offer the course in the traditional way, but with considerable reference to standard meteorological resources on the internet, such as the NWS, Unisys weather, Intellicast, and the Weather Underground. This emphasis could, however, shift more towards the AMS online weather studies as course preparation progresses.

Prior to the restructuring of CAU in 2003, at which time a minimum course enrollment policy became rigorously enforced, Physics 353 had been taught almost every year since its inception in 1996. External adjunct faculty from the National Weather Service and CNN International Corporation were typical instructors for the course. In 1999 and 2000 CNN meteorologist Michael Cavanaugh taught the course with a dozen different web pages active on as many PC computers. The innovative techniques developed in this course were used synergistically in the training both of non-science majors at CAU and non-science media personalities at CNN. The CAU/CNN partnership was strong until a change in management at CNN resulted in a change in direction that moved more in the direction of marketing than towards weather analysis and prediction. The course was taught in 2001 and 2002 by a former NWS meteorologist, but in a more traditional manner than Mr. Cavanaugh's course. AMS Online Weather Studies could provide the impetus needed to bring Physics 353 back into active status as an internet-intensive course.

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

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