To address a growing need for climate information, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey developed a one-day “climate workshop”, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sectoral Applications Research Program. The workshops were designed to distill basic concepts of climate and weather, discuss causes of climate change, assist participants in finding and interpreting climate information, and relate climate to tangible events such as drought and other natural hazards. These workshops were offered in Oklahoma during 2008 and in Colorado in 2010.
Topics covered in the workshop included:
These materials are posted as part of the Mesonet K-12 website to allow teachers and students greater access to the materials. The materials were revised over the course of the workshops by using a series of evaluations, consisting of a pre-test and post-test at each workshop to assess learning. Topics that seemed the most difficult to grasp were revised. Among the outcomes was that longer presentations were shortened into more focused topics and more basic information concerning the structure of the atmosphere and weather patterns was added.
The workshops are geared for those who are seeking information about climate but have difficulty identifying specific needs, locating the information, or understanding the products. The topics are designed to provide a solid foundation with additional material supplemented to address more detailed topics, such as the impacts of climate on recreation. It is our intention to continue adding special topics over time; drought is the first of these.
The project’s final report is in preparation and will be posted to this website. The final report will detail changes in knowledge that occurred as a result of these workshops and highlight topics that generated the greatest increase in scores as well as those that did not fare so well.