12th Symposium on Education


Meteorology in the US Virgin Islands

David J. Smith, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

The Division of Science and Mathematics at the University of the Virgin Islands will make its inaugural offering, during the spring semester of 2003, of Introduction to Meteorology, utilizing the American Meteorological Society's course Online Weather Studies. The University of the Virgin Islands is an HBCU liberal arts institution with campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix, with a total student population of approximately 3000. The Division of Science and Mathematics offers degrees in physics, chemistry, biology, marine biology, mathematics, and computer science.

The course will be conducted primarily as an asynchronous distant learning course, but will also include weekly one-hour tutorials on each campus. The director and primary professor for the course will be physicist Dr. Dave Smith, who will also conduct the tutorials on the St. Thomas campus. Physicist Dr. Michael Henry will conduct the tutorials on the St. Croix campus.

While topics in meteorology have routinely been a part of the curriculum of the physics and general education courses, the Introduction to Meteorology / Online Weather Studies course will be the first course at UVI dedicated to the study of weather. It represents the first step in the development of a new program in meteorological studies. Utilizing the Virgin Islands' recent designation as an EPSCoR state, UVI is in the preliminary planning stages of a broad-based research program. Dr. Smith is working with colleagues in physics and chemistry to establish programs in LIDAR, weather monitoring and weather modeling that can provide research opportunities for undergraduates. Introduction to Meteorology will provide UVI students with the fundamentals necessary to participate in this research and to pursue careers in weather studies.

Poster Session 1, Poster Session: K-12, Popular and University Educational Initiatives
Sunday, 9 February 2003, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM

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