2002 Annual

Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 5:00 PM
Hurricane hunting: Using the Internet to integrate field experience and distance learning at USF
Arlene G. Laing, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; and J. B. Halverson and R. E. Hood
Students at USF will travel, virtually, with the CAMEX-4 missions through hurricanes and other convective weather systems in August and September 2001. Using the Meteorology Computer Laboratory, they will access real-time data (delivered through Unidata Internet Data Distribution system) that will allow them to observe the systems through which the aircraft are flying.

Armed with a digital camera and laptop, the instructor will provide daily bulletins to course websites as the stimulus for student discussion and the basis of laboratory exercises. For example, students will: 1) Use satellite, radar, surface, and upper air data to track, in real-time, the weather systems through which the CAMEX aircraft are flying, 2) Make daily forecasts and verify their forecasts with the Tropical Prediction Center tracks and other observations, and 3) Examine sea surface temperature and its relationship to storm tracks and intensification.

In this manner, students can relate the observation, research, and theoretical components of meteorology to their immediate environment. Representatives from the university's Center for Teaching Enhancement will conduct evaluations of the courses and the impact of this distance learning experience. The goal of this project is to enhance the academic experiences of the students while providing sound computer-based, technical skills.

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