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LEARNING ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATED TO “CLIMATOLOGY” BASED ON A NEWLY INSTALLED WEATHER STATION

A. Moliner, J. Almorox, M. Benito, K. Hontoria, I. Mariscal, A. Masaguer, J. Santano, J. Perez-Arias, C. Dieguez

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETSI Agronomos (SPAIN)
The project developed a fully functional web site for the Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus located in the E.T.S. Agronomics Engineering (Technical University of Madrid UPM). The primary objective of the weather station project was to involve students and University faculty in applied climatology and meteorology, to provide real meteorological data that could be used for classroom exercises, and also to make the information available to the public via the web site. A goal was to upload automatically meteorological information to a website every 30 minutes and to import and download the historical data directly from the weather station to the web. The weather station was installed on the E.T.S. Agronomics Engineering (Technical University of Madrid UPM. Latitude 40.442 ºN, longitude 3.7276 º W and elevation 658 m) in June 2011. The station, a Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus, is automatic and transmits measurements wirelessly to an internet connected computer. Data is streamed live to the Soil Science and Climatology Department site and is stored for future applications such as explanations, developing test and exercises and downloading historical and real-time data. The station logs temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed/direction, solar radiation, UV radiation index, rainfall, and calculates other weather variables: heat index, wind chill, dew point ET. For connecting the Davis Weather Station to web and for sharing the data, we use the software WeatherLink for Windows. The created web page (http://www1.etsia.upm.es/ESTACIONETSIA/index.htm) displays current weather data in tabular and graphic formats and the historical record of the same data over the latest week. The software stores downloaded data in monthly files with the format NOAA summary reports.

The main tasks carry out by students was to include the collection of data through real-time weather observations and compiling and summary of weather records. They will include workbook exercises, analyze and compare real data, create spreadsheets, dataset generation for external research efforts, case study collection and use real data to solve numerical problems and exercises with the aid of the virtual teaching platform known as Moodle. The platform facilitates the cooperation between the students, through “sharing spaces”, where they can interact with each other, so that each student can see the work of the others and can contribute in improving the learning-teaching process
keywords: weather station.