Resources at NSDL and Hurricanes!
The first Web Seminar produced in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) on the topic of Hurricanes was held on Tuesday, May 16, 2006, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The presenters were Susan Van Gundy, Director of Education and Outreach at NSDL and Robert Payo, Education and Outreach Specialist also from NSDL. The presentation focused on resources available at the NSDL and hurricanes, how they form, how scientists study them, and how they predict their occurrence.

web seminar player window (ocean temperature slides)

The session started with a general overview of the NSTA Web Seminar tools and how they can be used to facilitate interaction between the participants and the presenters. Fifty-nine participants were present in addition to the presenters and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Susan Van Gundy started the presentation talking about the NSDL and the resources available at the library. She shared reasons why teachers should use the digital library over other search engines, for example, NSDL offers resources from trusted providers, peer reviewed collections, variety of interfaces for discovery, context, tools and services, and community. The featured digital library for this program was DLESE. This acronym stands for Digital Library for Earth System Education. Mr. Payo continued the presentation talking about the ingredients for storms such as hurricanes. As he went through the list of ingredients, he shared tools available in DLESE that educators can use with their students to learn about hurricanes. Payo talked about air and water temperature, pressure, and Earth's rotation axis.

web seminar player window (poll results)

Van Gundy followed Payo talking about the different names hurricane-like storms receive around the world, like typhoons, and cyclones, and did an activity where a volunteer member of the audience plotted the path of a storm through the western Caribbean given latitude and longitude coordinates. At the end of the presentation participants learned about the tools of the forecaster and how using computer models a nd simulations, as well as historical data, scientists make predictions for future hurricane seasons. Throughout the presentation there were several opportunities for the participants to interact with each other and with the presenters by answering poll questions, chatting, stamping, and marking on the slides.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "I learned a great deal about resources available as well as hurricanes. I enjoyed the graphics and pictures. They make for a much more interesting learning environment along with participation."
  • "I enjoyed the discussion of temperature and global wind patterns. It helps to show how we can somewhat predict the coming season."
  • "Learning about the digital library system search engines was great. That they are free is marvelous. I hope to learn how user friendly they are. The slides were incredible and fantastic visual and interactive tools."
  • "I really enjoyed hearing the presentation instead of just reading information. The questions that others asked were great. I learned where to look for valuable information in interactives for my students."

Thanks to the participants and the presenters for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!

Web Seminar: Hurricanes - Resources

PowerPoint Presentation

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