Enhancing diversity in the geosciences through national dissemination of AMS Online Weather Studies and Online Ocean Studies at minority serving institutions
The Online courses are developed by AMS and licensed by colleges for local offering and credit. The hallmark of the Online courses is the incorporation of current environmental data and investigations delivered via Internet. Course components include a customized textbook, investigations manual containing the first halves of twice-weekly learning investigations, and course website offering the near real-time completion component of each investigation and links to current geoscience data. Course instructors also receive access to a faculty website containing answer keys and a faculty CD with various instructional materials, including test bank questions. The Online course packages provide the flexibility of offering the classes in both traditional lecture/laboratory-based and totally online instructional settings. The turnkey design allows the courses to be offered by experienced meteorologists and oceanographers, as well as by those in other scientific fields, such as geography or chemistry.
Faculty introducing the courses at MSIs are invited to attend week-long NSF-supported workshops that cover course implementation procedures and key course topics. The workshops employ many guest speakers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and university geoscience departments and introduce faculty to operational activities. Instructors are also invited to a diversity workshop at the subsequent AMS Annual Meeting and present posters detailing their course implementation experiences. In order to provide further geoscience opportunities for interested students, faculty are connected with local NOAA offices and AMS provides student resources websites with career and internship information.
AMS Online courses deliver highly motivational learning experiences that encourage additional student exploration of the geosciences. The turnkey course design and faculty enhancement workshops make possible geosciences course introduction at MSIs and other colleges nationwide.