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Viewing: MEA 488 : Meteorology for Media

Last approved: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 08:34:40 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 21:48:48 GMT

Change Type
MEA (Marine, Earth, and Atomspheric Sciences)
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
Meteorology for Media
Media Meteorology
College of Sciences
Marine Earth & Atmospheric Science (17MEA)
Term Offering
Fall Only
Offered Every Year
Fall 2015
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Course Prefix/NumberSemester/Term OfferedEnrollment
MEA 493Fall 201111
MEA 493Fall 20126
MEA 493Fall 20139
MEA 493Fall 201410
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture and Lab2
Course Attribute(s)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
Nathan Scott Johnson

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture and Lab1010NoClass size is capped at 12. Labs (up to 2 lab ections) can only accommodate 6 students at a time related to the video studio size.
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Prerequisite: One of the following ENG 331, ENG 332, ENG 333, or COM 110
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Communication of weather and climate information with the public, including examination of communication theory, public communication of science, and geoscience communication research. Production techniques for television and digital graphics, presentation to camera, and audio recordings.

Meteorologists are the scientists most often seen by members of the public, and they are relied upon to update television viewers, radio listeners, website visitors, and mobile app users on everything from benign weather to extreme and life threatening conditions, often multiple times daily. Further, broadcast and media meteorologists are increasingly called upon to explain geoscience and related topics such as climate change, geology and astronomy to the public.

The current MEAS curriculum addresses scientific knowledge and understanding of these topics but does not directly address communication with members of the public. This interface--between scientists and non-expert members of the public--is growing in importance.

This course builds upon the scientific foundation of other major courses and the communication skills from the course prerequisites to prepare students to engage directly with the public. The course addresses the vast differences between communicating with other experts and non-experts, orienting students to the growing body of research examining communication of science information, and guides students through the practical communication exercises involving writing, presentations and weathercasts across multiple media.


Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:


Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.






US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.








Requisites and Scheduling
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.

b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?

List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.

List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
Title and author of any required text or publications.

Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

The course is not expected to require, initially or subsequently, the allocation of additional resources beyond those already provided for the course while offered under special topics, including:

Instructor (one-quarter time requirement for one semester per year)

Dedicated space for video recording studio (currently located in Jordan Hall Rm 2112)

Video studio equipment including:

Camera, studio lights, wireless microphone and receiver, audio mixer, soundproofing material, computer for recording and compositing video weathercasts, weather data processing and graphics equipment, unity workstation connected to NCSU network, ceiling mounted video projector, various cables and adapters to connect the above, storage space (filing cabinet), two tables and two office chairs.

While no additional resources are anticipated, provision should be made for the updating or replacement of the above resources upon failure of hardware or software, software end-of-life or obsolescence of any component.

Through readings, discussion, and hands-on experience, this course will provide an academic and practical introduction to the field of media meteorology, including its history, practice, and significant issues.  The accompanying (required) lab section will offer opportunities for hands-on practice in building graphics and presenting weather forecasts for television, radio, and the Internet.

Student Learning Outcomes

Through successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

• Recount and discuss important themes in the history of radio and television weather broadcasting 

• Describe the structure and operation of a typical television newsroom

• Design and build weather graphics for the public on television and online 

• Create and deliver radio and on9camera weathercasts consistent with the expectations of the certification programs of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association 

• Offer constructive criticism on one’s own presentations and those of others 

• Summarize and apply findings from literature concerning broadcast meteorology to their presentations

• Produce a “resume tape” suitable for submission for TV station employment applications 

• Compose a statement of weather presentation and coverage philosophy

• Identify all US/Canadian states/provinces, major cities, rivers, mountain ranges, and geographic regions 

Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Quizzes15%A series of quizzes will ensure familiarity with basic (primarily North American) geography, including major regions, states and provinces, capitals and major cities, rivers, mountain ranges, and other landmarks.
Homework20%Assignments will include (but are not limited to) brief papers in response to selected course readings on issues pertaining to broadcast meteorology, construction of sample weather graphics, recording of weathercasts for radio, and weathercast critiques.
Oral Presentation25%Four weathercasts by each student will be recorded for grading. This reflects an average of grades for each weathercast. Additional consideration will be given to weathercasts later in the semester.
Oral Presentation15%During Phase II of the course — currently scheduled for Weeks 7 through 13 — each student will synthesize a number of readings on a given topic and present a 10-15 minute summary to the class. Each student will also provide a one-page handout summarizing those readings.
Participation10%Students will be evaluated on their contributions to in-class discussions and critique sessions.
Other15%In lieu of a final exam, students will submit a portfolio consisting of a résumé, cover letter, two recorded video weathercasts, a weathercast self-critique, and a one-page statement of weather coverage philosophy.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Introduction, history, context and the importance of geography1 weekreadings: Henson 2010 (Ch 1), Turner 2010 (Ch 5 & Conclusion), lab: Orientation; studio policies and procedures; dry runs
Communication frameworks, forms, and media1 week readings: Baker 2002, Nicholls 1999, Wilson 2008, WeatherCentral/WSI, lab: “Auditions”; geography quiz #1
Communicating weather with the public1 weekreadings: Henson (Ch 2), May/Marshall 2012, Wai 2013, Lazo et al. 2009, Stewart et al. 2012, lab: Newsroom/storytelling/reporting fundamentals; radio weather
Presentation technique and working with graphics1 weekreadings: Henson (Ch 4, 5), Reynolds 2009 (Ch 2, 4-6), Eosco 2011, lab: Chromakey techniques;
Presenting with graphics
Communicating Uncertainty1 weekreadings: AMS, Morss et al. 2008, Demuth et al. 2009, lab: Record weathercast #1
Probility of Precipitation1 weekreadings: Murphy et al. 1980, Gigerenzer et al. 2005, Saviers & van Bussum, Sink 1995, lab: Check-in; follow-up Q&A; group critiques; geography quiz #2.
Climate change1 weekreadings: Henson (Ch 10), AMS, Wilson 2009, Zhao et al. 2014, Hamilton & Stampone 2013, lab: TV station tour
NWA Annual Meeting Debrief; Intro to high-impact weather1 weekreadings: Henson (Ch 8), Barnes et al. 2007, lab: Check-in; follow-up Q&A; group critiques; geography quiz #3.
Hurricanes1 weekreadings: NHC, Rappaport 2014, Broad 2007, Eosco 2011, Oremus 2012, Meyer 2014, Sandy SA, lab: Record weathercast #3
Tornado warnings1 weekreadings: Brotzge/Donner 2014, Simmons/Sutter 2009, Hoekstra 2011, OKC SA, Spann 2013, lab: “Tape swap” critiques
Winter storms1 weekreadings: Niziol, Myers, Johnson, Myers (all 2012); Norcross 2013; 2WXCOMM panel, lab: Experienced weathercaster career perspective
Station scientist; outreach1 weekreadings: McPherson, AMS Station Scientist Page, lab: Record weathercast #4
Getting hired, comfortable, and certified; the future1 weekreadings: Henson (Ch 2, 6, 9, 11), Brooks 2007, AMS & NWA seal requirements, lab: Record weathercast #5
In previous years, the lecture was on Monday and lab sections on Monday and Tuesday. Hence, there was no class or labs the week of Labor Day. Additionally, the instructor attends the National Weather Association Annual Meeting each fall. Class and the formal lab is cancelled that week but the students record weathercast #2 in the video student on their own.
brownjw (Wed, 16 Sep 2015 14:53:55 GMT): Approved pending resolution of ab/practicum/...
brownjw (Sun, 18 Oct 2015 22:13:19 GMT): Lecture/lab ambiguity resolved.
Key: 7212