The goal of this project is to complete a transition from the current lecture-based “Physical Meteorology” course to an experiential, project-based, “Weather and Climate Change” course at the University of Montana Western. Classes on our campus have recently been “blocked” into 3.5 weeks, with professors and students involved in only one class at a time. Four-credit classes such as the one proposed usually meet three hours/day five days a week. This immersion-learning schedule provides an opportunity to involve students in more challenging projects than is possible in the traditional semester schedule.The proposed class will include concepts from the areas of meteorology, climatology, paleoclimatology, and geology and these concepts will be integrated in project work, making the course genuinely interdisciplinary. The course will cover typical introductory meteorology material with the addition of integrated climate and paleoclimate studies. Meteorology projects to be developed will introduce students to basic concepts of atmospheric science. Climate and paleoclimate topics to be developed in projects will include climate-forcing mechanisms, sources of data and methods for characterizing climate and climate change, and methods of collection and analysis of that data. Data from NASA, NOAA, and many other primary sources (see below) will be used to develop projects. Finally, some of the projects will have a real research component related to climate and climate change, to which successive classes can contribute over many years.
|University of Montana-Western|
|Dillon, MT 59725|