These labs also serve as the lab component for Geography 1112 (Introduction to Weather and Climate), which is the most popular science course at Georgia State University. Nearly 1,500 students enroll in the course each year, and the students — with assistance from Graduate Teaching Assistants in the Department of Geosciences — convene in 405 Arts & Humanities to complete the labs. Typical introduction to weather and climate textbooks and courses tend to place a lot of emphasis on weather (e.g., entire chapters devoted to adiabatic processes, cloud types, expressions of humidity, etc.) and much less emphasis on climate (e.g., only several chapters with strong climate sections). The climate-literacy labs fill the void in the curriculum by providing structured inquiry-based exercises that explore the principles and concepts of climate science. Consequently, the incorporation of the climate-literacy labs in an introduction to weather and climate course helps to ensure that students receive adequate exposure to climate science.
The suite of labs also epitomizes laboratory science: students ask questions, use models, make predictions, analyze and interpret data, use computational thinking, construct explanations, engage in argument from evidence, and obtain, evaluate, and communicate information. Therefore, the labs are best described as having a “minds-on” approach, rather than the literal “hands on” approach often seen in cookbook (i.e., step-by-step instruction) verification experiments in biology, chemistry, and physics.
The links below guide you to the syllabus and lab schedule for Spring 2016.
The first day of lab begins with an overview of the labs and an introduction to Google Earth, which is used in nearly every lab. Students should click on this link to download a sample Google Earth .kmz file to be used on the first day of lab. Lab instructors will follow an orientation guide.