Atmospheric Science Education Research (ASER): Reflections On a Three-Day Workshop

Thursday 1:45pm
Oral Session Part of Thursday Oral Session B


Peggy McNeal, Towson University
Zachary Handlos, Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Dawn Kopacz, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Kathy Quardokus Fisher, University of Notre Dame
In May 2023, we held a three-day workshop, Developing Expertise and Building Collaborations to Advance Atmospheric Science Education Research (ASER). The workshop was NSF funded with goals to address needs for professional development for those interested in formally pursuing ASER. We brought together five geoscience education research (GER) mentors with expertise in education research and 19 atmospheric science educators, including early career faculty and graduate students. We began the workshop with a dinner and keynote speaker who provided a perspective on the history of GER, shared lessons learned, gave suggestions for growing the community, and inspired us to pursue ASER. The days that followed included a gallery walk to identify shared research interests and develop research questions, structured training, mentoring, and networking. These activities brought workshop participants and mentors together to develop well-designed education research projects. Ultimately, the workshop participants organized into five research groups around common research interests. The GER mentors supported each research group with numerous resources (e.g., literature, websites, research planning worksheets) to guide their selection of research design and methods and plan recruiting, and institutional review board approval. The mentors remained available post-workshop as participants continued to meet and carry the projects forward. Notably the groups made five presentations of their ongoing work through oral talks at the Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society in January 2024. This highly successful workshop resulted in a much-needed support system that will help to grow the ASER community's expertise in education research methods. The collaborations that developed during the workshop will set a foundation for robust investigations into teaching and learning in atmospheric science. In this presentation, we will describe the workshop proceedings, communicate current research interests, identify gaps in the literature, outline areas for future work, and share the exciting research that ASER scholars are currently pursuing.