Hail or High Water: Lsc-University Park Teaches It All

By: Steve Scheffler
| Published 05/09/2021


HOUSTON, TX -- A common joke in Houston is that if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes. It will change. This fall, students at Lone Star College-University Park will have the opportunity to learn about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the city’s complicated weather patterns and systems, as well as weather forecasting, air pollution and climate change.

College pairs new weather station with localized meteorology class this fall

A recently-installed stream gauge and weather station on campus will allow faculty to incorporate real-world data collection and interpretation into the course curriculum for Geology 1447 – “Meteorology,” a new course that counts as a core science requirement for degree-seeking students.

“Using a live stream data feed, students in the class will log in and see the data via graphs and charts,” said Dr. Christa Spears, professor of geology and instructor for Meteorology. “The class will have a greater impact when students can actually relate it to their lives.”

The weather station and stream gauge collect local rainfall amounts, temperature, relative humidity, dew point, wind speed/direction, barometric pressure, and stream depth/temperature. Data from the weather station will be available to the public on the college’s website.

“It is always a beautiful day at University Park,” said Lone Star College-University Park President Dr. Shah Ardalan, who is known for using this phrase to begin his speeches. “Now, our students will be able to see it scientifically– thanks to the new weather station and the knowledge they will gain in the Meteorology class.”

“Our faculty are known for bringing innovation and new learning opportunities to the classroom for our students,” he added. “We are providing ‘place-based’ learning by localizing the subject of meteorology for our students who live, work and learn in our community. This is another example of how we are the community’s college.”

Spears is thrilled to introduce such a unique and relevant class – the first of its kind to be offered in the Lone Star College System.

“Public attention to the weather has never been greater,” she said. “Houston has experienced unique and extreme weather conditions recently, from hurricanes and floods to droughts and winter storms. Weather impacts everyone, and by integrating the hands-on weather station, our students will have a well-rounded learning experience.”
Spears says that by understanding the science behind the weather, students will gain a greater appreciation for all that it impacts, which is just about everything.

“Our daily lives are affected by the weather – from the clothes we wear, the places we live and the cars we drive,” said Spears. “Even the pandemic is impacted, to some degree, by the weather. Students will be able to apply what they learn to their other classes or programs.”

Those interested in learning more about the new stream gauge, weather station and Meteorology class should contact Christa Spears at Christa.Spears@LoneStar.edu. More information is also available at https://www.lonestar.edu/geology-dept-universitypark.

Established in 2012, Lone Star College-University Park has been recognized nationally and internationally for its innovation, as well as its focus on student access and success. Conveniently located off SH 249 in the heart of northwest Houston, Lone Star College-University Park is known as the “community’s college,” providing students with highly-affordable degree and certificate programs that transfer seamlessly to four-year universities or lead to direct employment. The college's facilities include the Center for Science & Innovation, the Energy & Manufacturing Institute, Learning Innovation Labs and the Geology Rock Wall. Dr. Shah Ardalan has been president of LSC-University Park since its founding in 2012. To get started at LSC-University Park, visit LoneStar.edu/StartUP or call 281.290.2600. Summer and fall registration is ongoing and classes are filling quickly.

Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 93,000+ students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. LSC consists of seven colleges, 10 centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.


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