Release Date: January 31, 2007

WBU SCIENCE TEACHER PRESENTS AT METEROLOGIC GATHERING

PLAINVIEW – Dr. Tim Walsh, assistant professor of physical science at Wayland Baptist University, was among a group of presenters at the 87th Annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society, held in San Antonio recently.

              Walsh had a poster presentation that detailed his use of a weather balloon launch video in his meteorology class at WBU last fall. The video was used to show how the radiosonde launches, which are done at the same time every day all over the world, collect valuable weather data and how that weather information can be used.

              “They collect upper air data from all over the world, from temperatures and humidity to wind speed,” Walsh explained. “We took the data those balloons collected and plotted it out to show weather patterns.”

              Walsh took the video himself while spending a week at the National Weather Service training station in Kansas City, Mo., last summer. He was selected to attend the summer session and a grant paid for his time there and his trip to the recent AMS meeting. While there, the group viewed the launch of the weather balloon in Topeka, Kan., and Walsh got video footage of the event.

              For the AMS Meeting, Walsh and hundreds of his peers stood with their posters in the presentation sessions, one focused on education and one a general session. Visitors to the presentation hall could visit one-on-one with presenters and find out about their individual projects.

              Aside from the presentations, Walsh was able to sit in on several lecture sessions and gain additional knowledge about meteorology. Since meteorology isn’t his premiere field of expertise, Walsh considered the event valuable for his teaching career.

              “I gained a lot of resources from other universities and how they’re teaching weather, plus a lot of new techniques and materials that can enhance my classes. I also attended some sessions on the history of meteorology and that was an interesting as well,” Walsh said. “Meteorology has been a course at WBU for many years, and I wanted to get involved in that project in order to gain more knowledge in the field.”

              Walsh got more than he bargained for out of the trip, ironically, since the icy weather plaguing the northern parts of the state hit the San Antonio area as well. Stranded an extra day on the Riverwalk, Walsh said he got to take in a whole extra day of sessions and spent time in the vendor area getting a first-hand look at new technology being developed for weather science.

              Walsh noted that the meteorology class at Wayland is offered every other year on the science rotation. Besides the balloon research project, the class also “made a tornado” in the basement of the Moody Science Building and took field trips to the NWS facility in Lubbock and the Texas Tech Wind Engineering Research Facility at Reese Center.