ESRL Global Systems Division

GSD Science used in Education Program in the Arctic

ERSL's Global Systems Division (GSD) is pleased to be contributing to a pipeline of progressive K-12 instruction about Arctic weather and climate for elementary- to high-school-aged students in the Bering Straits School District. The Arctic Climate Modeling Program (ACMP) provides this instruction through a unique multifaceted science and math information technology program.

GSD supports the AMCP by providing them with weather data collected through their Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP). These data are collected from weather stations in the Fairbanks and Bering Sea regions of Alaska and are then quality checked by GSD's Meteorological Assimilation and Data Ingest System (MADIS). From there they are distributed to over 450 user organizations around the world. The AMCP incorporates these data in their K-12 curriculum.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the ACMP's educational approach is unique in that it blends "Native Alaskan ways of knowing" with research being conducted near the Bering Straits School District. Students are taught to "think like a scientist" from both the modern perspective used by professional University of Alaska researchers and from the traditional native cultural perspective used for centuries by Alaskan Native Elders. The program merges classroom lessons and activities that are relevant to the communities in which students live, bridging the school with the community. It focuses on changes in Arctic weather, a topic of local concern, and it incorporates information technology tools useful for the entire community such as the access to near real-time weather that NOAA provides.

These CWOP and MADIS contributions to the ACMP is only one example of GSD's valuable community outreach efforts. They continually contribute to NOAA's Weather and Water strategies to "Monitor and Observe" and the Environmental Literacy, Outreach, and Education component of the Cross-Cutting Priorities.

Contact information
Name: Russell B Chadwick
Tel: 303-497-6318