Monday, 10 February 2003
An undergraduate perspectives course on the history of meteorology
The field of atmospheric science has progressed as both a basic and applied science and has played a leading role in the development of electronic computing, remote sensing, aviation technologies, and computational modeling, among others. Information about weather and climate is now used in nearly every sector of our society. An understanding of the progress in any science, and especially in the atmospheric sciences, is essential to the understanding of the scientific method and processes by which science and technology are integrated into mainstream society. This course provides a historical basis with which to calibrate where we are, where we have been, and the direction we are moving as a critical field of science. The course, 'History of Meteorology,' offers students a unique perspective on the processes of scientific discovery, method, progress, and vision as influenced by historical events and societal needs. As a university perspectives course, it is open to all undergraduate students, regardless of major, that have completed 24 credit hours in the liberal arts core, including an introductory meteorology course for non-science majors. The cross-disciplinary nature of this course should appeal to students in the sciences, as well as those majoring in history, sociology, science education, or anyone interested in the historical context of scientific advancements and technological developments. The course is designed such that the history of meteorology is treated as a narrative analysis unfolding over time. The innovations and advances in the field will be discussed in the context of major historical events and breakthroughs of the 20th Century.