Allen Research Group

Hail - Tornadoes - Climate Variability - Extremes


My teaching philosphy focuses on a mixed approach to pedagogy that incorporates the strength of the many modern methods available for instruction. As a student, I noticed a disconnect between the mathematics and physics that we as applied scientists rely on, and the atmosphere phenomena we all experience. Exploiting the connection students have to meteorological events is an approach I find valuable to link abstract concepts back to both practical and visual examples outside the classroom. Methods used in my classrooms include:

  • Leveraging short sharp lectures to introduce concepts or stimulate discussion (less than 15-20 minutes).
  • Inclusion of visual content to chacterize processes in the form of live weather information or historical cases.
  • Active learning exercises or problems to reinforce skills or newly introduced concepts.
  • Data visualization and analysis using JupyterHub to introduce programming concepts.

  • I am particularly keen to focus on ensuring that students develop the "soft skills", both in the classroom and in undergraduate research. To accomplish this as part of both assessed and unassessed work I provide opportunities to develop programming, oral communication and scientific writing skills.

    MET 140 - Severe and Unusual Weather

    University survey course in meteorology, covering the basic properties of scientific observations in the atmosphere and introducing these concepts to a wide-array of undergraduate students. I approach this from the perspective using interactive cases and visual content for severe weather events such as snowstorms, tornadoes, hail, hurricanes and the implications for a changing or variable climate on these events.

    MET 310 - Atmospheric Thermodynamics

    Sophomore level course that focuses on a first introduction of calculus to meteorology. This course addresses the properties of physical processes associated with atmospheric thermodynamics and stability. I approach this course from an active learning approach, incorporating the use of Jupyter Notebooks and in class exercises along with weekly review assignments. Topics covered include atmospheric composition, equations of state, hydrostatics, first and second laws of thermodynamics for dry, moist, and saturated air, atmospheric stability, parcel buoyancy, and thermodynamic diagrams.

    MET 450 - Mesoscale Meteorology

    Senior-level to entry-level graduate course in the properties and dynamics of weather systems occurring on the mesoscale. Topics covered include the physics driving phenomena such as thunderstorms, mesoscale convective systems, lake effect snow, boundary layer and low-level jet processes, tornadoes, and organization of severe thunderstorms. In addition to the theoretical elements, the course incorporates Jupyter Notebooks for assignment tasks and showasing processes, while assessment targets oral communication and applied forecasting skills.

    MET 480WI - Atmospheric Modeling

    Senior undergraduate-level course on the basic principles, methods and equations that form the basis of the ability to model Earth’s Atmosphere. The course uses Jupyter Notebooks and canned model simulations to explore numerical differencing techniques, stability analysis, the structure and operation of commonly utilized weather and idealized models, evaluation of physical parameterizations and their implications, and the basics of running different atmospheric models. Course focuses on written communication in the form of an extended scientific report and the development of programming skills in Python via the notebook interface and interpreting results of simple numeric modeling.