Weather station comes to the Franciscan Center

Christina Salvatore

Each day, we revolve our life and activities around one thing: weather. It is something that affects us daily; millions of Americans tune into the news everyday to prepare themselves for different weather conditions. To help students and staff stay current on the daily weather, Madonna University has installed an automatic weather station that measures everything from precipitation to solar radiation. 

Asaad Istephan, professor in the Physical and Applied Science department has been extremely involved in the weather station.  With the station being located in the Franciscan center where he teaches makes it very convenient.   Having his students utilize the weather data by following the occurrence at Madonna makes it a project that everyone enjoys.

“This is a great topic, it is scientific and it involves real time applications of using weather data in the classroom,” said Istephan. 

The weather station was provided by funds from Madonna’s McGregor Grant, which will be current for two years, from 2010 to 2011.  The station is designed to begin the revolution of science education at Madonna University and will be used in a new meteorology course.

Along with being able to provide weather each day for the Madonna community, the data is also being used for undergraduate students’ projects and as facts for research in the college of science and mathematics.  When a certain amount of weather data is collected, the students will then analyze the information as part of their current science courses.

“Our students in my ESS 3260 Meteorology class see the benefit of using weather data in various human activities,” said Istephan

Theodore Biermann, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics is another individual who has been included in the weather station and helping make it a success.

“Incorporation of the weather station into a lab component of our general education meteorology course is an example of our intention to transform science education at Madonna,” said Biermann.

With costing nearly $50,000, the weather station was installed at Madonna in the Franciscan center on July 17th 2010.  Since then, there has been plenty of involvement including professors in the science department and their students.  The weather station can measure and detect wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and global solar radiation.  Not only can it determine the weather it is also prepared with software, spare parts, accessories, date logger, and display console. 

The Madonna community can now access the weather via the station at the Franciscan Center on Firefox.  Follow this link http://172.16.16.138/mainreadouts.php; students as well as staff can be immediately updated on time, temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind chill and many other conditions taking place on campus.  The site is updated on an hourly basis or whenever the weather changes.

“We are actively redesigning other general education science courses toward building student enthusiasm for science,” said Biermann.