Geography and Geology faculty members Scott Dobler and Amy Seymour, along with Teacher Education faculty member Kay Gandy, represented the Kentucky Geographic Alliance and Kentucky Mesonet at the Kentucky Association of Environmental Educators conference this past weekend at Cumberland Falls State Park.
Teachers and other environmental educators attending the conference were trained in the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and in the use of local weather data from the Kentucky Mesonet. Sessions were also offered to train attendees in generating accurate data from their own local environments that can be developed into lessons plans for the classroom.
The long-term goal is for teachers throughout the state to take what they have learned and to use it in their classrooms. Once students are aware of how to conduct accurate measurement, the data that are readily via the internet become much more valuable to them for good decision making.
According to Geography and Geology Department Head Dr. David Keeling, “Outreach efforts like these provide important connections between the Kentucky Mesonet and P-12 teachers and students. Having access to real-time information about climatic conditions can help students better understand the local implications of broader issues like global climate change, drought and precipitation.”