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Clayton H. Reitan
and
Joseph M. Moran

Abstract

Probabilities of setting record daily low temperatures during the winter half-year were determined empirically for selected stations in the upper Midwest. The probability of a new record low depends upon the length of station observational record, decreasing as record length increases. Thus, the probability of five or more record low daily temperatures during the winter period is about 0.5 for stations with 35 years of observations, and 0.1 at stations with 100 years of data. Frequency of occurrence of new record low daily temperatures is, therefore, an appropriate measure of the severity of a winter only if those frequencies are related to the length of the observational record at a particular station.

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David R. Smith
and
Joseph M. Moran

The Fifth International Conference on School and Popular Meteorological and Oceanographic Education was held 5–9 July 1999 in Ballarat and Melbourne, Australia. Conference delegates included 105 teacher educators, meteorologists, oceanographers, and science communicators representing 13 nations. Principal themes of the conference were weather and ocean studies in the primary and secondary school classroom (K–12), professional development programs for teachers in meteorology and oceanography, using the Internet for schools and public education, and communicating environmental issues to the public. Oral presentations, workshops, poster sessions, and hands-on demonstrations provided information on programs for teacher enhancement, computer-aided instruction, and access to real-time weather information.

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Michael D. Morgan
and
Joseph M. Moran

The authors administered a survey to nearly 1400 college students to assess their understanding of the greenhouse effect and stratospheric ozone shield. This survey addressed basic scientific understanding as well as applied (societal) aspects of these two topics. The mean score was significantly higher on ozone statements than on greenhouse statements and on applied statements than on basic science statements. Students who were science majors, had taken physics in high school, and obtained most of their information from magazines, newspapers, or college courses scored higher than their counterparts who were nonscience majors, had not taken physics, and whose principal information source was television. Although male students scored significantly higher on the greenhouse portion of the survey, there was no significant gender-related difference in the ozone segment of the survey.

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Joseph M. Moran
,
David R. Smith
, and
John T. Snow

The Fourth International Conference on School and Popular Meteorological and Oceanographic Education was held 22–26 July 1996 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Conference attendees included 125 educators, meteorologists, oceanographers, and government officials representing 19 nations. The themes of the conference were the roles of meteorology and oceanography in science education and the benefits derived from improved environmental awareness and scientific literacy, particularly weather awareness, meteorological literacy, and understanding of the ocean. Formal presentations, workshops, poster sessions, and demonstrations provided information on programs for teacher enhancement, computer-aided instruction, and classroom access to real-time weather information through the World Wide Web.

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