In the Trenches - January 2017

Teaching Weather and Climate

Volume 7, Number 1

In This Issue

Online Supplements

This site provides web links that supplement the print articles as well as news and web resources. Members can follow the "Read more" links below to access full versions of the articles online. To receive the full edition of In the Trenches, join NAGT

FROM THE EDITORS: The Changing of the Guard

Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, and Margaret E. Crowder, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bridging the Gap: Teaching Informal Climate Change Communication

Janel Hanrahan, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, Vermont

Fundamental climate change science has been understood for many years, yet on the political stage the debate has continued. In fact, only about 19% of the American electorate identified climate change as a top issue when considering how to vote in the 2016 presidential election. This is not surprising considering that many Americans (as many as 47%) do not believe in human-caused climate change , even though the vast majority of climate scientists agree that it is happening. Read more...

Experiencing the Scientific Method in a General Education Weather Course

Tom Kovacs, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Weather courses are a popular option to satisfy general education courses in the sciences because of the natural interest students have in the weather, given its impact on our everyday lives. Unfortunately, these courses are often organized in a way similar to most introductory college-level weather textbooks, which do not directly satisfy the students who are mostly interested in weather forecasting and severe weather . Read more...

TEACHING RESOURCES: GOES-R Satellite WebApps Aid Middle School, High School Teachers

Margaret Mooney, The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies,University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Webapps developed by the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) in collaboration with NOAA's Advanced Satellite Products Branch will help CIMSS train National Weather Service forecasters in 2017. They are also important new tools in the "GOES-R Education Proving Ground," a CIMSS project that works with middle and high school science teachers who are using satellite data in their classrooms. Read full article.

TEACHING RESOURCES: "Build Your Earth" Tool Fosters Climate Exploration, Engagement

Jonathan Fairman, David Schultz, Stuart Anderson, and Sharon Gardner,University of Manchester, Manchester, England

Imagine if your students were able to design their own planet by choosing parameters such as distance from the sun, tilt of the axis of rotation, and greenhouse gas concentrations, and then set up their own topography and bathymetry. In an ideal world, they would be able to do this on a website by entering this data and then clicking a button to run a climate model in the background. Later, they could return to see images of this dynamic, individualized planet. The results would encourage them to explore their own ideas and engage the general public in learning about the processes that drive Earth's climate. Sounds fun, right? Read more...

Nominate Exceptional K-12 Teachers for 2017 OEST Awards

  • NAGT's Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award

MY FAVORITE DEMONSTRATION: Exploring Refraction: Creating a Superior Mirage

Dawn M. Kopacz, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, Vermont

An often difficult concept for students beginning their journey in atmospheric sciences is understanding how light interacts with Earth's atmosphere to create phenomena such as red sunsets, rainbows and mirages. This semistructured lab activity requires students to use their prior knowledge of the refractive indices of various substances, reflection, refraction, and scattering to demonstrate an atmospheric optics phenomenon using provided materials. Read more...

NAGT UPDATE: "Reflection and Action" 2015-16 Accomplishments Have Laid the Foundation for the Important Work We're Going to Do This Year

Randy Richardson, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, and Anne Egger, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington

Workshop Gets Faculty Careers Off to a Great Start

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Web Features

NAGT, its members, and its sponsored projects have produced a number of resources related to the topics addressed in this issue.

Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) »

The CLEAN Pathway provides a reviewed collection of classroom materials for teaching climate literacy and energy awareness for students in grades 6-16. Hallmarks of the project include the collection of educational materials, a set of pedagogic strategies for teaching these topics, and an ongoing series of professional development events for teachers and faculty.

Climate Education in an Age of Media (CAM) »

The CAM project is developing approaches to bring student media production into climate change education in ways that are engaging, empowering, and can be readily adopted in a wide range of instructional environments. Student media-making can be used to overcome many of the challenges that climate change education presents and is an excellent way to bring active, social, and effective learning to one of the most important and most complex problems facing human society today.

SERC Site Guide: Climate Change and Global Warming »

Find resources and teaching materials such as activities, course descriptions, visualizations, and effective teaching methods from SERC projects and collaborators for teaching about climate, climate change, and sustainability across the curriculum. Explore tips, advice, and ideas for teaching this potentially controversial and misunderstood topic, addressing misconceptions, capitalize on the interdisciplinary possibilities for teaching about climate, and making this topic relevant to students' lives, even if they are not science majors.

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