Isaac Ginis ~ Outreach Modeler


Peer Reviewed Resource

Dr. Isaac Ginis was contacted by the Louisiana State Museum (LSM) to provide expertise for the exhibit Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond. "I thought there might be a way to do something beyond an exhibit," says Isaac. "There are many lessons for coastal communities to learn after Katrina." Shortly afterward Isaac met National COSEE Office (NCO) Director Gail Scowcroft. Together they developed the concept of the Hurricanes: Science and Society website, which was funded by the National Science Foundation in conjunction with the LSM exhibit.

"Learning about hurricanes can happen anywhere."
Launched in October 2010, Hurricanes: Science and Society is a comprehensive interactive website, developed using multi-disciplinary input from an expert advisory panel plus coordination with the LSM and Raytheon Web Solutions. The website is intended as a nationwide classroom tool for teaching and learning hurricane science, with information tailored for specific audiences such as K-12 educators and students, the general public, and the media.

Concurrent with the LSM exhibit opening and website launch, Isaac and Gail held a symposium for educators, researchers and policymakers to introduce the website, and also offered a workshop for middle and high school educators. The educators received Professional Development based on the website and then were asked for feedback on the website content. The educators also developed activities based on the website content that could be added to their classroom curriculum. Some of these activities are currently being piloted in classrooms.

More details and a link to NOAA’s 2011 Atlantic hurricane season outlook can be found on the homepage of the Hurricanes: Science and Society website.
"What is unique about this website is it's peer-reviewed, on the same level as a textbook or official publication, so people can be confidant using it," says Isaac. "I led a group of science experts who participated in the development and review of content, and I was gratified to see how excited my colleagues were when I asked them to participate." Also unique is the educational component, offering resources for science teachers and informal educators, and the website also provides a scaffolding for associated outreach through workshops and presentations at conferences.

Bill Read
Bill Read, Director, National Hurricane Center
Teachers' involvement in the launch of the Hurricanes Science and Society website