Geoscience Class Visits Weather Service – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Geoscience Class Visits Weather Service

Jeffrey Frame, assistant professor of geoscience, recently took his Geoscience Weather and Climate class to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  The trip was sponsored by a grant from the Center for Teaching and Learning which sponsored several class trips this semester.

“I kept in contact with the people working in Buffalo’s weather office since August because I knew I wanted my class to learn more by taking a trip outside the classroom,” said Frame. 

The class encountered some new and old subject material while on the trip such as photographs of flood water washing out a road surprisingly in matter of minutes. The class also went to the operations room where computers displayed radar, satellite and other weather observation data. 

“My students were able to see how weather warnings are issued,” said Frame. “They also realized that the work of the Weather Service never stops because the weather never stops and the office works in shifts.”

Many students reported that their favorite part of the trip was viewing the weather balloon launch. “It was different to see a weather balloon firsthand rather than just learning about it in the classroom,” said Isabella Comstock ’11. “By actually going to the National Weather Station I truly got to understand weather patterns and their effects.”

The class learned that twice a day weather balloons are launched all over the world and the weather data (temperature, pressure, moisture, wind direction and speed) are recorded by the radiosonde that is attached to the balloon. 

Frame said grant money also will allow the class to chart lake effect snow.  In addition, Frame intends to purchase two radiosondes, a project he will do in collaboration with SUNY Oswego. 

“I would definitely take this trip with my class again,” said Frame.

Comstock agreed. “This was a great trip and I hope students in the future get to experience it as well.”

In the photo above Prof. Frame’s Geoscience stands behind the inflated weather balloon at the National Weather Service in Buffalo, N.Y.