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Presidential Teaching Professor Seminar

A Climatologist's Teaching Journey – Improving Forecasts, Adapting to Change!

Dr. David Changnon
Dr. David Changnon

David Changnon, Ph.D.
Department of Geography

Distinguished Teaching Professor
Board of Trustees Professor

Those involved with forecasting weather daily or predicting how climate will change, must understand the inherent limitations associated with the models used to develop that information. These constraints lead to uncertain outcomes, ones that we must carefully consider before we deliver our predictions. Importantly, as models have improved, the number of questionable forecasts has diminished and our ability to adapt to changing future conditions has improved. As I reflect on my experiences in the classroom I realize now more than ever that pre-lecture preparation, incorporating engaged learning activities, and an awareness of my audience have helped me create an effective teaching/learning environment. This presentation will focus on my journey as a teacher, and my passion to keep improving the forecasts and adapting to change.

David Changnon is an atmospheric scientist specializing in climatological studies and has been teaching courses in the Department of Geography since 1992. In his favorite undergraduate course, Applications in Climatology, Changnon mentors student groups that develop climatological information and models for use by weather-sensitive decision makers in agriculture, utilities, insurance, and transportation. Results from these applied research projects have led to a number of student co-authored publications and presentations. He has served on various committees of two scientific societies and participated in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and on a National Research Council (NRC) Panel titled “Estimating and Communicating Uncertainty in Weather and Seasonal Climate Forecasts.” He has been awarded NIU’s Presidential Teaching Professorship (2008) and Board of Trustees Professorship (2010).

Monday, March 24, 2014
Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center
11:30 a.m.—12:00 p.m., Refreshments
12:00 p.m.—1:00 p.m., Presentation and Q&A

No registration is required—Everyone is welcome!


Office of the Provost
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

Last Updated: 07/16/2014