Exemplifying Experiential Education

An undergraduate course was taught at University of North Dakota by Dr. Gretchen Mullendore during Spring 2012 titled Forecasting/verification of convective regimes for the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field campaign.  The course examined of the objectives and motivation of the DC3 field campaign, and included discussions about particular challenges involved in making chemical transport measurements as well as hands-on forecasting exercises for all three DC3 regions.

Six UND undergraduate students traveled to University of Alabama, Huntsville, to work with UND graduate student Brandon Bigelbach and the DC3 UAH team, headed by Dr. Larry Carey. During the campaign, a hands-on forecasting internship was also held at UND, led by Dr. Jeff Tilley, that gave both graduate and undergraduate students a chance to do forecasting for the campaign and listen in on live forecast discussion.

Now that the course, and the project, are over, the students had time to reflect on their experience and the comment on the positive impact that amazing experiential educational opportunity will have to their education and overall career path.
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“This project was a great experience because it was something I never had the opportunity to partake in during my undergraduate studies. Getting out into the field and immersing myself in weather and in this project was a perfect complement to my research, which is entirely computer modeling.”
     – Brandon Bigelbach, Atmospheric Sciences graduate student

“The DC3 Field Campaign was a great experience because it provided me with an awesome opportunity to meet and work with other students and scientists from all over the country.  Every person brought his or her own area of expertise to the campaign, and together we were able to accomplish the goals of the campaign.”
      – Scott Rowe, Atmospheric Sciences major, graduated Spring 2012 (just starting graduate school at University of Iowa)

“Being able to be a part of the DC3 field project has been a very valuable experience, especially as an undergraduate. The majority of my work at UND has been computer based research, so being able to be a part of the field work was great exposure to valuable skills that I will be able to use in future career opportunities.”
       – Melissa Becker, Environmental Geography major, expected graduation May 2013

“Being able to gain forecasting skills through the class and then having the opportunity to relate it to an actual field setting has been an incredible experience. It has helped show me the great opportunities available in the field of atmospheric science and given me valuable experience for my future career.”
       – Nicole Bart, Atmospheric Sciences major, expected graduation Dec 2012

“Participating in DC3 was an incredible experience because it allowed me to see the challenges of applying idealized information from the classroom to the real world. Working as part of a team to overcome these challenges was a great opportunity and has increased my enthusiasm for research meteorology.”
      – Justin Weber, Atmospheric Sciences major, expected graduation May 2013

“It was a thrilling experience to work with my fellow friends and colleagues on this project in Alabama. The UAH folks were great and I appreciate all of their hospitality. It was a great learning experience bringing together so many people from across globe to work together on one common goal. This experience has strengthened my choice to continue to pursue atmospheric research and I hope to be a part of more collaborative efforts like this in the future.”
     – Mariusz Starzec, Atmospheric Sciences major, expected graduation Dec 2012

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