College in St. Peter, Minnesota is a nationally recognized, private
liberal arts college with about 2,400 students. The Geography Department
uses a Capricorn 2000 weather station to support its meteorology and climatology courses, and to provide
background data for research projects in physical geography, plant
biology, and ecology.
Bjelland, Ph.D., notes that approximately 70 students per year take
meteorology, and that there are always waiting lists to get into
"We teach a
meteorology course each year as a lab science course. For one laboratory
project, the students must record weather observations for 30 days,
and for another project, they must research specific weather events
and forecasting accuracy. We store all the data on the computer
and students retrieve it for their lab projects."
"For my lecturing
in the course I often retrieve graphs of specific events such as
the March 29, 1998 F-3 tornado that damaged much of our town and
campus, the Nov. 10, 1998 mid-latitude bomb that passed over us,
summer thunderstorms, wind storms, or just 30 days of temperature
data. I make overheads of the graphs and use them in the meteorology
and climatology classes."
"We have the
instruments mounted on a pole on the science building roof. We collect
pressure, wind speed, wind direction, and temperature data. We would
like to add solar radiation and humidity."
"The unit is
connected to a PC running Windows NT. We have a split screen display.
One display is in the climatology laboratory and the second screen
is located in a display case in the hall of the science building.
Many people make a point of walking past the display case to see
how hot or cold it is, the wind chill, or how much precipitation
we have received. The display case also holds four other computer
screens showing various satellite images, radar loops, and weather
a Capricorn II weather station for a number of years and upgraded
to the Capricorn 2000 after their lab equipment was damaged in a