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25 July 2016

This is Why Satellite Pictures Look This Way

..and then there are these images, all from today Sunday 24 July 2016. It looks this way because of two main facts. 1. The Equator is hot, and the Poles are cold. 2. The Earth is rotating. Now, watch the video and understand (I still remember seeing this demonstration as a first year undergrad in meteorology.)

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21 July 2016

The Gravity in Greenland is Dropping, No Really.

Check out this NASA movie showing the changes in sea level since 2002. Blue areas show rising oceans, and yellow/red show dropping sea levels. Watch the movie, and pay attention to the area near Greenland. So WHY is the sea level dropping around Greenland?? NASA has the answer. The Greenland ice sheet is melting, and therefore there is less mass. Less mass, means less gravity pulling the ocean water toward …

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17 July 2016

What Not To Do During The Heat Wave Next Week!

There is very high agreement in the medium range models this morning that an intense heat wave will build across the Eastern U.S. this coming week. It will begin in the Plains on Tuesday, and get much stronger by Wednesday, spreading highs above 100 into the Dakotas and Minnesota. It will then steadily shift eastward, reaching the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic by Friday, and over the weekend. The oceans globally (and …

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13 July 2016

Is Your Local Weather Reporter Afraid to Mention The Climate Elephant?

Jason Samenow over at Capital Weather Gang (Washington Post) has a great piece today, and it has led to a wide discussion among broadcast meteorologists. I’ve written before about this subject, and while coverage of climate issues has increased dramatically over the past few years, there are some on air forecasters who for one reason or another are loathe (or even forbidden) to mention it. One station in Little Rock …

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3 July 2016

The Science Behind That Awesome Photo You Saw on Twitter or Facebook

Meteorologist see a whole lot more in this image however, and it even shows the promise of better warnings of severe weather. This is especially true for rural areas/ poor nations that have only a rudimentary severe weather warning system in place. The image was apparently taken from an airliner over the Pacific.  You’re looking at a very intense thunderstorm, with an updraft of air that towers into the stratosphere …

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29 June 2016

31 Scientific Societies Send Congress Letter on Climate Change. It pulls no punches.

A letter signed by the directors of over 30 different scientific societies was sent to the Congress this week. The AGU, and the American Meteorological Society, were among the signers. Jason Samenow at the Washington Post has a piece on this as well today. Research by Ed Maibach at George Mason Univ., and others at the Yale Program on Climate Change, indicates that the number of those who dismiss climate …

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28 June 2016

Up to 8 Inches of Rain Fall on the Eastern Shore of Maryland

I live here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and we had a severe flood event last night. Nearly 6 inches of rain fell at my house. This comes after my post yesterday about the difficulty in forecasting extreme events like floods. Look below and read what I posted to my local viewers about the event. This area is flat, so we did not have any loss of life, but …

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Using Satellite Data to Forecast Flooding

A lot of folks have a vague idea of how valuable satellite data is for forecasting severe weather. With the launch of GOES R this fall, the data will be nearly real-time, like radar is now, and it will revolutionize forecasting. That said, we already have satellite products that (using the different IR and visible channels) can detect and track water vapor in the atmosphere.  I chair the NWA Committee …

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22 June 2016

New Slide Presentation on Climate Change Dispels Common Myths

  My friend Paul Gross (at WDIV in Detroit) is the past chair of the AMS Committee on Station Science (I’m currently the chair), and he had a fantastic idea early this year that is now a reality. The idea was to develop a set of slides for broadcast meteorologists (and even teachers) that they could use to teach climate change and dispel the many myths that are constantly floating …

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24 May 2016

Tidal Troubles In The Mid-Atlantic

NOTE: This post is based on some research I did for an on-air story that aired today: Sea level rise is what’s called a slow motion disaster. These kind of events tend to be blamed on the symptoms rather than the cause, and often the preparation/ response to these type of events is inadequate. This is much the case where I live and work here in the Mid-Atlantic, on the …

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22 May 2016

Where The Fault Lies

Rural students in America who want a good education have a steep mountain to climb. Rural areas are generally poor, conservative, and tend toward fundamental religious beliefs, and this is turning out to be a real issue when it comes to teaching science. If you don’t believe me, ask a Biology teacher in rural Alabama, or almost anywhere in Texas. Too often, it’s not just angry parents they have to …

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9 May 2016

Visualizing the Heating of the Planet

An ingenious animated graphic by Ed Hawkins (Climate scientist at the Uni. of Reading in the UK) is going viral online today, and it is well worth sharing. Finding a new way to show raw data in a way that allows you to visualize what is happening, is always worth pursuing. Ed has another graph that shows how 2016 so far compares to last year. Last year was the warmest …

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4 May 2016

Chesapeake Bay Grasses Making a Comeback

My colleague Ty Butler did an excellent piece on our air (WBOC TV Eastern Shore of Maryland/Delaware) tonight about the recovery of the Chesapeake Bay grasses. This is really good news, and a sign that the health of the Bay is indeed improving. Ty has some great underwater photography in his piece, and it’s an exc. example of really good environmental science reporting. Call me impressed. Click the image below …

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2 May 2016

Songs of the Earth: Using music to connect students to the geosciences

By Jennifer Beauregard I distinctly remember a conversation I had as a graduate student. It was with a faculty member in my department and he was lamenting about how scientifically illiterate his undergraduate students were. I asked him why he did not include certain topics in his classes to address this issue. His response was that he was only going to talk about his area of expertise, not geosciences in …

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27 April 2016

Properly Communicating a Forecast Is Just As Important as Accuracy

The Storm Prediction Center’s outlook for severe weather verified fairly well yesterday. There were not that many tornadoes and the reason for this was likely that the wind shear was not that favorable in spite of an extremely unstable airmass. Still, the graphic above shows where the reports of wind damage, hail, and tornadoes were, and it matches well with the forecast outlook. The storms forecasted for New Jersey developed, …

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Oceans, policy, and high school students

By Shane M Hanlon & Lexi Shultz “Our Changing Ocean: Science for Strong Coastal Communities.” That was the theme this year for the Finals of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), an “education competition that tests students’ knowledge of ocean-related topics, which include cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology.“ NOSB fills a gap that exists in many schools across the nation as ocean sciences are not a core part of many high …

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22 April 2016

You Can Thank These Three People for Earth Day

I remember very well watching the CBS Evening News (46 years ago today) on the first Earth Day. It was a major story, and I believe Walter Cronkite led the broadcast with it. We know a lot more about our planet now than we did then, and there have been some amazing successes in protecting our environment. We now know something that was not well understood then, and that is the …

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20 April 2016

What do students in coastal AL, TX, & GA all have in common? We’re all part of the same ocean!

By Lollie Garay In 2007 I was chosen as a PolarTREC teacher assigned to an oceanographic expedition to Antarctica. It was that amazing voyage that teamed me up with marine scientist Dr. Patricia Yager (UGA). Our successful collaborations have produced many educational outreach presentations, lessons, and published papers. Having experienced first-hand the important work of marine scientists, I knew that I needed to bring this type of experience to my …

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13 April 2016

Informal education equal opportunities for girls in STEM

This is a guest post by graduate student Mayra Sanchez as part of our ongoing series of posts where we ask students to share their experiences in science communication.  I became interested in outreach in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), because I’ve always seen a gap in communication between the scientific community and the general public. I have been an informal educator for the past 10 years with most of my …

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14 March 2016

NASA: February Temperatures Hottest Ever

  NASA has released the February global temperature data, and the rumors that it would smash the record set just last month by an incredible margin are true. The global temp. was 1.35C above the average of 1951-1980. This passes last month’s record of 1.14C above that average. The overwhelming opinion of experts is that any rise above 2 degrees C will bring unexpected and serious consequences to our climate …

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