Workshop Synthesis and Recommendations

Hurricanes and climate change together are of inate interest to and have a high impact on the public. The scientific understanding is rapidly evolving providing a view of cutting edge science in action. Thus they provide a valuable opportunity to interest students in exploring the methods and understanding of science.

Key themes discussed in the workshop included

Capitalizing on the high interest in hurricanes and climate change to
  • engage students in scientific thinking without intimidating them.
  • empower their understanding and use of knowledge through more hands-on activities (whether physical activities or web content/data).
  • introduce the role that modeling plays in science in general and in understanding and predicting climate systems in specific
  • help students understand the relative certainty of different types of results and how to make use of results even when the scientific community is uncertain of the overall conclusion (A related discussion: Teaching Uncertain Science)
  • demonstrate the complex connections within the climate system. Feedback plays an important role and contributes to the uncertainty of what will happen in the future.
  • explore the link between students as learners and citizens. Learning regarding hurricanes and climate change has many applications in the decisions that students make as citizens.
  • illuminate the relationships between technology and science. New observing and computing technologies both lead to new understanding and result as science demands new tools.
  • enage students in quantitative techniques at a wide variety of levels (including graduate level statistics).
The balance in courses between depth and breadth
Ways to increase retention or transfer of knowledge between courses
The use of assessment to understand what students learn and retain

Next Steps:
We would like to continue to provide feedback on and discuss these activities as we move forward including feedback on what does and doesn't work. We would like to use the list serv for this purpose. Karin will provide a querry to prompt us quarterly both to provide feedback and to update our activities.

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