Third Term Renewal Proposal,
July 1, 1997 - June 30, 2002


Goals and Mission Statements

  • To place C4's program at the intersection of multi-disciplinary issues (i.e. the interactions of clouds-chemistry-climate) and to optimize resource utilization for national laboratories and mission agencies

  • To entrain a new generation of young scientists and observationists to further address problems related to the planet's climate and environment

  • To respond to the needs of K-12 science teachers, to enhance their general understanding of issues related to global climate and environmental research in order to excite young minds, especially those in under-represented groups, and to enrich the scientific ranks through this early outreach effort

  • To disseminate new knowledge and technology in the broadest ways possible, and to assist the national laboratories, hence the nation, in maintaining the lead in global climate change and environmental research.

    The Center for Clouds, Chemistry and Climate offers the following comprehensive education and outreach programs for professional scientists, graduate students, undergraduates, K-12 teachers, agencies, industries and research institutions.

    Progress to date (1994-1997)

    Education and Training

    Graduate and Advanced Level

    Several C4 courses and workshops enhanced the interaction between graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and advanced researchers.

    Summer Course in Climate Modeling
    In 1995 and 1996, C4 organized a two week summer course on coupled atmosphere-ocean modeling directed by J.T. Kiehl, of the Climate Modeling Section at NCAR. Instructors included J. McWilliams of UCLA, and W.D. Collins and G. Zhang from SIO/UCSD.

    These lectures presented talks on observations of atmospheric and oceanic circulation, parameterization of physical and dynamical coupling processes, and current or related topics in coupled atmosphere-ocean research. The participants, 15 graduate students and faculty from undergraduate colleges across the country, participated in lively discussions after each lecture, and commented through evaluations that the course was quite successful in describing complex issues associated with the coupled atmosphere-ocean system.

    Advance Workshops to Present CEPEX Results to the Scientific Community
    Several workshops were held to distribute information on CEPEX, including:

  • NATO Advanced Studies Colloquium at Ringberg, Germany, March 1994,
  • Santa Fe Institute Workshop, September 1994, and
  • Symposium on Regulation of Sea Surface Temperatures and Warming of the Tropical Ocean Atmosphere System, American Meteorological Society, Dallas, January 1995.
    All CEPEX data used to address the cirrus thermostat hypothesis is available to the climate research community through CIDS (see III B). Results from CEPEX also have been published extensively in refereed literature (see CEPEX Journal Papers).

    INDOEX Workshops
    To develop the INDOEX program, C4 organized the following 6 international workshops well attended by scientists, postdoctoral researchers and students:
  • February 16, 1995 (Boulder, CO),
  • June 26-28, 1995 (Mainz, Germany),
  • September 6-7, 1995 (La Jolla, CA),
  • October 13, 1995 (Broomfield, CO),
  • February 1-2, 1996 (Mainz, Germany), and
  • September 9-11, 1996 (Paris, France).
    Additionally, a national INDOEX workshop was organized by the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, India on August 19, 1996 to establish India's INDOEX program.

    The Indian National Committee for IGBP and the NSF Division of International Programs will sponsor the next international workshop for INDOEX in New Delhi, January 3-6, 1997. European participants, supported by their own institutions, will also attend.

    Research, and Field Project Experience Opportunities for Graduate Students and Post-doctoral Fellows
    Several graduate students have participated in CEPEX and pre-INDOEX research, authoring Ph.D. theses and journal papers based on these modeling and field experiments (Table 1).

    Undergraduate Level

    The undergraduate education program at C4 aims to provide research and training opportunities for students in several areas: resesearch, field project and software development; data analysis and computing programming; and administrative and business training (Table 2).

    For example, C4 has developed an effective program to train undergraduate students in the analysis of climate research data. Every year, C4 employs approximately 5 undergraduate computing and engineering students in its computing lab. These student programmers prepare new data sets for the C4 Integrated Data System (CIDS) by converting this data to a format recognized by the scientific community (NetCDF), and organizing the file structure to conform with CIDS standards.

    During the internship, students become familiar with the CIDS database structure and conventions, become proficient in various graphic display programs to validate and document their results, and sharpen extensive programming skills for manipulating data files in multiple and diverse formats. As the students become familiar with the various types of instruments and platforms (ship, plane, satellite, sondes, buoys, etc.) included in CIDS, they also gain an understanding of the types of measurements and areas of scientific interest relevant to climate sciences and to the goals of C4. In the process, they are given a unique opportunity to learn about geo-physical sciences and scientific methodology. Over the past several years, ten undergraduates have worked on CIDS at C4-SIO (Table 2).

    K-12 Level

    The K-12 teacher training program results from collaborative efforts between C4 and the Stephen Birch Aquarium-Museum. Team members include Mr. Hung Nguyen, Assistant Director of C4, Dr. Diane Baxter, Education Curator at the Aquarium, Asociate Professor Moni Hamolsky, and Dr. Sharon Franks.

    To realize the National Science Foundation's ideal of making science more visible in schools, science centers and museums, the SIO Stephen Birch Aquarium-Museum has collaborated with C4 to create a multi-part program based on materials published in 1996 by the National Science Teachers Association. Outreach efforts have used videotapes, computers, and model traveling labs.

    Curriculum Development
    Publishing Forecasting the Future: Exploring Evidence for Global Climate Change was the highlight of a three year collaborative effort between C4 the Stephen Birch Aquarium- Museum (see chapter cover page). Commenting on this 150-page curriculum and classroom activity guide for teachers and students in grades 5-12, Dr. Neal Lane, NSF Director wrote to Professor V. Ramanathan on June 21, 1996:

    Thank you for your letter of April 26, 1996, and especially for enclosing a copy of the new curricular program "Forecasting the Future, Exploring the Evidence for Global Climate Change." Reading it - almost - makes me want to go back to teaching; it captures the sense of exciting, hands-on discovery that is so fundamental to the learning process.

    I congratulate everyone involved in the development of this outstanding example of a partnership and outreach program that worked cooperatively to bring this powerful communication and learning tool to our students and teachers.

    The curriculum, purchased by more than 1300 people, describes methods that biologists, chemists, geologists, meteorologists, and physicists use to gather data and interpret findings related to global change. It also offers more than 150 classroom or school yard activities paralleling those scientists use in the field or laboratory. Related services to educators include the provision of teacher institutes, teaching materials including slide sets, videotapes, and software, in-school assistance from program staff, an on-line question and answer service called Forecasting the Future On-line which approximately 2,250 students have used, and an electronic Environmental Education Center offering exemplary educational resources, including problem sets based on real-time data. This project has provided a direct link between the C4 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with the teachers and students in the classrooms.

    Forecasting the Future On-line
    In 1996 alone, 570 students from five schools and asked C4 research teams of graduate students and senior fellows questions through an interactive Forecasting the Future on-line question and answer service. Each team, headed by a C4 principal investigator or SIO senior researcher, fielded questions in their area of study. Questions were sorted by an editor who distributed the assignments in order than scientists handled a manageable workload.

    Evaluation of Forecasting the Future
    The method of educating K-12 teachers is unique, according to the National Science Teachers Association, in its strong research-oriented approach to pre-collegiate science education. To evaluate the program's overall effectiveness as well as the usefulness of each component, underwriting from a second NSF grant is being used to secure experimental evidence for program outcomes. It is hypothesized that when teachers participating in this program are compared across sites, all will achieve acceptable scores on reliable assessments of factual knowledge, broad concepts, and pedagogical activities related to global climate change. When participating students of these teachers are compared across sites, all students will achieve acceptable scores on tests of factual knowledge, broad concepts, and positive attitudes across science. Compared to a control group of students whose teachers are not enrolled in the program, experimental groups should score significantly higher on these tests.

    Outreach of an Outreach
    Ongoing formative evaluation occurs in classrooms, with data being collected on the following:
  • teachers' rationales for selection and sequencing of activities,
  • teachers' adaptation of activities to students' age, interests, and ability levels,
  • students' responses to each activity,
  • teachers' and students' choices of follow-up projects,
  • teachers' requests for follow-up assistance from program staff, and
  • teachers' suggestions and recommendations to each other.
    These findings are being disseminated and reviewed through professional presentations worldwide, including those requested by NATO, the governments of Spain and India, colleagues at the Center for Biological Training and other NSF National Science and Technology Centers, federal programs (NSF's Science and Technology Week, the National Board of Science Standards, the National Laboratories at Los Alamos, the San Diego Urban System Initiative and the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education), and universities, including Notre Dame, Brown University, the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of Maryland.

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