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Weatherford, V.L., Redemann, J. (2003). A Non-science Major Undergraduate Seminar on the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS): A Student Perspective. Eos Trans. AGU, 84(46), Fall Meet. Suppl. 2003, Abstract # ED12A-0129

Titled "Observing Climate Change From Space-what tools do we have?", this non-science major freshman seminar at UCLA is the culmination of a year-long interdisciplinary program sponsored by the Institute of the Environment and the College Honors programs at the University. Focusing on the anthropogenic and natural causes of climate change, students study climate forcings and learn about satellite and other technological means of monitoring climate and weather. NASA's Terra satellite is highlighted as one of the most recent and comprehensive monitoring systems put into space and the role of future NASA platforms in the "A-train"-constellation of satellites is discussed. Course material is typically presented in a Power-Point presentation by the instructor, with assigned supplementary reading to stimulate class discussion. In addition to preparing lectures for class presentation, students work on a final term paper and oral presentation which constitutes the majority of their grade. Field trips to the San Gabriel mountains to take atmospheric measurements with handheld sunphotometers and to JPL, Pasadena (CA) to listen to a NASA scientist discuss the MISR instrument aboard the Terra satellite help bring a real-world perspective to the science learned in the classroom. In this paper, we will describe the objectives and structure of this class and present measurement results taken during the field trip to the San Gabriel Mountains. In this context we will discuss the potential relevance of hands-on experience to meeting class objectives and give a student perspective of the overall class experience.

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Updated: 14-Jan-2005