Welcome QR code readers!If you scanned the code from my poster, then it brought you here. You are still slightly early. In fact, I’m really not ready. I am still compiling that list of references you are looking for.
This blog post is merely a place holder for an abstract and references for a poster/paper yet to be fully written. I will add to the art gallery and reference list as I go along.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: I teach a general education “Weather and Climate” course. Understanding the circulation of the atmosphere can be a difficult topic for introductory students. However, Earth’s wind systems largely explain climate – and climate explains the world. The purpose of my ongoing “Meteorology and Myth” project is to develop teaching modules which present concepts in an interesting way. Students in the arts and humanities often struggle with physical science. Equally, students in geoscience or STEM fields often need a greater appreciation of the arts and humanities.
This story of monsoons is made to bridge topics in geography, environment and atmospheric science, with history, art, folklore and culture. Teachable moments, discussion and debate is encouraged.
Update! I have created a poster version of the topic. I just now need to find the correct market for it. If you have suggestions, please post in the comments.
Welcome QR Code readers! If you have scanned the QR Code on my poster, it has brought you here. I am still compiling my full presentation for the SouthEastern Division of the American Association of Geographers Conference, to be held November 24-25, 2019. This post is just a placeholder for the presentation and reference list TBA. In the meantime, enjoy this preview.
I will be continuing my “Meteorology and Myth” Weather-and-Climate Education series this fall with another project on weather lore, this time titled “Meteorology and Myth – Part II: A Fair Candlemas”
This post is just a placeholder for now.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: I teach an introductory course in “Weather and Climate”. Whenever February 2nd rolls around, a student will ask if the “Groundhog Day” predictions are true. I used to always answer “NO!” The presence or absence of sunshine on any one particular day can not be used to determine either a shortened or a prolonged winter. Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are just folksy nonsense.
However, I got to thinking about it … and began to hypothesize that there may be a teaching opportunity in this legend. Although the Groundhog’s prediction does not make meteorological sense in the short term, perhaps there are long-term climatological averages about prolonged-winters and early-springs, which may have allowed the folklore to survive and diffuse.
The purpose of the overall project is to develop general education teaching modules which bridge topics in geography, atmospheric science, history, art, culture and folklore. Students in the arts and humanities often struggle with physical science. Equally, students in Geoscience and other STEM fields often need a greater appreciation for the arts and humanities. The intent is not to have students “prove” whether or not Groundhog Day predictions are true. Instead, the goal is for students to have a better understanding of atmospheric circulations, global teleconnections and weather patterns. Secondarily, students should have a better appreciation for folklore, history, culture and environment.
Look for more updates and embellishments in November!
My Poster for the Library’s Annual Creativity Showcase!
The media blurb from Library: “The Mary Livermore Library will be sponsoring the Third AnnualUNCP Research and Creativity Showcase on April 15, 2019 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This event will feature poster and speaker presentations at the newly-renovated Mary Livermore Library. These presentations will highlight the scholarship, research, and creative works of UNCP faculty and staff during the past year.”
Contact me if you want to learn more about my “Meteorology and Myth” project.
Notice: I have updated this article, originally posted on March 5, to include photos from the event on April 15, 2019. I also contributed another poster to the event “Blogging through the GEOG-ing” as per the TLC Directors request,
Next year my library showcase event poster will continue the Meteorology and Myth theme with a new chapter — “A Fair Candlemas”. See you then.
No foolin’ !!! Last night was the Graduate School Symposium and Open House. Current graduate students, potential graduate students and their families enjoyed poster presentations, refreshments and opportunities to discuss our numerous graduate programs. There were a record number 69 posters submitted this year. I had four of my graduate students present posters.
You can find more information about the Graduate School linked here:
Butler, Julian and Dennis. J. Edgell. “Palmer Drought Severity Index Tracking of Alternating Periods of Drought and Excess Moisture in Southeastern North Carolina 1895-2018.” North Carolina Academy of Science. University of North Carolina at Wilmington. March 21-22, 2019.
You can view my slide show presentation on the post LINKED HERE.
FYI: The following is the abstract for my oral paper presentation at the upcoming North Carolina Academy of Science meeting to be held in Wilmington, NC March 22-23, 2019.
Science education, meteorology and myth: The lightning and wind gods of Japan.
This project derives from educational modules developed for teaching atmospheric science concepts to non-science, general education college students. Folklore and mythology are not proper history or science fact, however there may be persistent, underlying truths to the narrative themes inherent in folklore. Japan’s Shinto religion holds Raijin as a god of lightning and thunderstorms, and Fujin as the god of windstorms and tornadoes. There are rational, scientific reasons why the activities of these metaphysical sky deities persist into modern, secular Japanese culture. Although Raijin and Fujin were revered as “kami” or gods, they were depicted as demonic, destructive forces of nature in traditional Japanese art and architecture. This educational project will explain the science analogies which can be used to explain the Shinto allegory in Japanese culture. Meteorological lessons were made to describe, or at least reinforce the mythology as depicted in Japan’s art, architecture and land use. Myths such as Raijin’s penchant for eating the navels of children, or why Fujin’s skin is green, can be used as discussion points to illustrate meteorological principles in an interesting way for non-science majors. For example, all Japanese painters of the Edo Period depicted lightning flashes as red in color, even though lightning clearly is not red. It might have been artistic license, or perhaps there are meteorological reasons as to why lightning was always colored that way. This teaching module explains weather phenomenon such as gust fronts, nitrogen fixation by lightning, the destructive east winds of cyclones, and others. Through the use of atmospheric science concepts in the context of art and mythology, it is hoped that arts and humanities students will come to better appreciate meteorology. Geoscience majors in turn, could have basic meteorological concepts reinforced, and also gain a better appreciation for art, history and culture.
Feel free to contact me for a copy of the full presentation or collaborative ideas.
Update! Here is a slide show gallery of my presentation.
PDSI tracking of alternating periods of drought and excess moisture in southeastern North Carolina 1895-2018
The Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) is the most widely used tool for measuring regional drought. NOAA provides access to free data measuring regional drought impact with downloadable climate region data. Drought is the deficiency of moisture when compared to the normal or expected amount over an extended period of time in a particular area. Past droughtcycles have been the subject of study since the 1960s. The PDSI can also be used in analysis of inverse cycles in those periods of extreme wetness. In Southeastern North Carolina, excess moisture is a concern and economic impact of excess moisture has been evident in recent, post-hurricane inundations. Excess moisture is a condition of an overabundance of rain and/or overland flooding, without compensating evapotranspiration. Both ends of the extreme affect agriculture and regional economy The advantage of PDSI over other indices is that it addresses two important properties of droughts – their magnitude and beginning/ending times. These are the most important aspects about drought cycles for this project. The PDSI ranges from -6.0 for extreme drought to +6.0 for extreme excess moisture conditions. Although the PDSI is used to assess regional periods of drought, the index is used less frequently to study drought’s inverse — periods of extreme wetness. If the behavior of drought cycles can be studied, and even predicted using PDSI, then cycles of extreme moisture could also be analyzed. This analysis studies the time series of the PDSI in the North Carolina Southern Coastal Plain Climate Division from 1895 to 2108. Periods of extreme drought and extreme wetness in the region are interpreted in the historical, climatological context, with consideration of unprecedented drought or extreme wetness. The magnitude of drought and excess moisture periods and their time series runs are reported.
Stay tuned for photos and updates from the NCAS event!
This was a wonderful trip! I had not been in Kent for almost 20 years. So much has changed … What ever happened to JB’s Down?
The Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center is a wonderful place. The whole downtown Kent area has been transformed in the past few years. Also, I could believe all the new buildings that have been erected on campus.
It was another successful Applied Geography Conference. Much thanks to Dr. Jay Lee, the AGC Director for many years.
This is a group photo of current Kent State University Climatology faculty and graduate students. Oddly absent in the above photo however … is my dissertation adviser Dr. Thomas Schmidlin. Fortunately, I was able to catch up with him at lunch the next day and at the conference keynote address.
Also notable: While I was in Kent I visited Ray’s Place. My friend Bob (also an old KSU room mate), was kind enough to buy me a late lunch. I had the “Mofo Burger“.
Look for me at the next Applied Geography Conference to be held in Charlotte, NC October 2019.
Update: The YouTube video blogger Joe from “Our Earth” provided this introduction to the conference.
Oh man, it rained every day of the conference. I was hoping to get a better look at all the new features of KSU. I still had a great time, but there was never a good day for walking around.
The Sun came out the morning after the conference was over and I was checking out.