Wednesday, 12 February 2003: 4:00 PM
Cooperative Education efforts in Surface Transportation Weather
The emergence of new technologies to support the expanding programs of 511 and Maintenance Decision Support Systems (MDSS) is requiring specialization in the meteorology workplace that supports these specific efforts. With the expanded use of grid forecasting systems, ensemble modeling, pavement condition forecasting and the increased availability of remotely sensed data, more is being asked of operational meteorologists to craft the location-based forecasts required of 511 and MDSS. To respond to this requirement and to anticipate the increased demand for well-prepared operational meteorologists in the surface transportation industry, the University of North Dakota (UND) Department of Atmospheric
Sciences implemented the nation's first focused curriculum in surface transportation weather in 2001. Building upon this program to increase the experiential learning of the UND students, a cooperative education program was developed between UND and Meridian Environmental Technology, Inc. (Meridian) to foster an enhanced educational experience that promotes stronger awareness of issues and emerging technologies in this growing sub-discipline in the atmospheric sciences.
This paper presents the results of the first year of this cooperative education program and how it is addressing issues in 511 and MDSS support. Included in the paper is a description of the university's preparation of students for the cooperative education program, the student selection process and the enhanced training students receive at Meridian beyond that received in the classroom. The paper concludes with a discussion of future directions this cooperative education program will be taking and how the university is continuing to build its commitment to surface
transportation weather education.