Aug 18, 2011
Humboldt State University’s Department of Geography has installed a full-scale weather station atop Van Matre Hall to spur engaged learning in physical geography.
The new station can be seen from the south side of Founders Hall, providing students with easy access to it right outside their classrooms during lectures.
The Van Matre station provides both current and long-term weather information, serving the North Coast public as well as students, faculty and staff.
The installation is the brainchild of Geography Professor Rosemary Sherriff, a specialist in biogeography who teaches physical geography courses. Sherriff worked with the National Weather Service Forecasting Office – NOAA on Woodley Island, Eureka, to network the HSU station with the Citizen’s Weather Observer Program. The link enables NOAA to provide supplemental information for forecasting regional weather patterns.
“We’ll begin using the data in three of our physical geography courses this fall term,” Sherriff said. “The station can now be accessed online and I look forward to students and faculty all across campus using this new resource. Anyone else who is interested can obtain the data online as well.”
Sherriff began developing the proposal in 2010. She and Dr. Kenneth Ayoob, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, agreed that an on-campus weather station would bolster active learning in physical geography studies, particularly in large lecture courses. Sherriff’s introductory physical geography course this semester has about 150 students.
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Office of the President provided funding for installation, networking, and weather station equipment. Weather station links are http://weather.humboldt.edu (current reading) and http://mesowest.utah.edu/cgi-bin/droman/meso_base.cgi?stn=D8223 (to download long-term data for station ID D8223).