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The Indiana State University Climatology Laboratory (ISUCL) is a teaching and research facility coordinated by climatology faculty and students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems. We serve as an atmospheric data archive for Terre Haute, Indiana, and operate the NOAA-NWS Cooperative Observer Station. We also provide resources to the ISU campus and community for purposes of research and education. Lab personnel are available to conduct presentations and workshops as requested by K-12 schools, community and higher education.
Undergraduate students can specialize in Climatology in the Earth and Environmental Sciences major by pursuing the Atmosphere and Surface processes concentration. Graduate students may study Climatology in Geography MA program and Earth and Quaternary Sciences MS program. An emphasis in Climatology is also supported by the curriculum of the Climatology Minor and the experiential learning opportunities within the lab.
If you are a K-12 teacher of Science Education, the ISUCL offers an array of weather and climate related materials to use in your classroom. We can also provide speakers and presentations to suit your particular educational purposes. An ISUCL staff member will visit your class to conduct weather demonstrations and lectures; topics include (may be adjusted for the grade level of your students):
- Interpreting weather data, radar and satellite imagery, watches and warnings
- How weather works: Detailed presentations on the physical characteristics of weather phenomenon, from cloud classification to the hydrologic cycle to the basic physics of storms.
- Severe weather in the United States, particularly in Indiana (e.g., tornado outbreaks, blizzards, floods).
- Global warming and cooling, past and present.
- Weather broadcasting and forecasting.
- Careers in atmospheric science
Experiences and Opportunities:
As an ISU student, you may participate in variety of professional activities through the ISUCL. Lab assistants presently record daily weather observations that are reported directly to the National Weather Service. Students conduct research under faculty supervision on such exciting topics as mid-latitude cyclone dynamics and low level streaks. In addition, lab personnel are directly involved in outreach functions to local schools and businesses. Finally, the ISUCL may conduct severe weather chase events in the spring and early summer of each year as storm season permits.
A variety of weather and climate data sets can be made available to you digitally through the ISUCL. Local surface weather data are recorded every day at 8 a.m. Variables include maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, soil temperatures frost/dew conditions, and special conditions.
The ISUCL also archives weather data that are submitted to NOAA and Wunderground for research and public information. In addition, ISUCL archives and has access to regional and global digital datasets representing surface and upper air conditions.