GEO‐WIND‐HWS 2 Lessons Learned

The GEO-WIND-HWS-II project was very successful in introducing students at HWS to the field collection of weather radar data. While a number of students who participated in the project were already majoring in Geoscience with a concentration in atmospheric science, a number were still undeclared first-year/sophomore students. Out of this undeclared pool of students, a number subsequently declared a major, with some expressing interest in conducting field research. Professor Metz had 12 students from his Introduction to Meteorology class train on the DOW and many participated in operations and outreach events. 

The outreach events and tours of the DOW radar were very successful in large part from the participation of HWS students. They played a large role in interacting with the people of all ages visiting the DOW radar. The student discussed a variety of weather-related topics with visitors, as well as discussing the workings of the DOW radar when visitors had a chance to climb inside the DOW radar. Not only did our students gain hands-on experience with a weather radar and enhance their understanding of radar operations and data, they also gained experience in discussing and presenting scientific information with the general public. The informational posters were a successful resource for providing information to DOW radar visitors on several aspects of weather radars and weather systems. 

Finally, from a forecasting perspective, students learned a tremendous amount from their daily DOW deployment forecasts. While learning how to forecast through artificial in-class activities is a vital part of a meteorological education, students seemed much more invested in their forecasts  when they knew that they would play a role in whether or not the DOW radar would be deployed. Each student had the opportunity to create two forecasts across the timeframe of the GEO–WIND–HWS-II project and they almost universally improved as they gained forecasting experience and had the opportunity to read other student forecasts. Professor Metz notes that these forecasting experiences carried over into other parts of student’s classroom experience and helped them to achieve at a high level.