(L-R) LMRFC Hydrologist David Schlotzhauer, Service Coordination Hydrologist Jeffrey Graschel, Senior Hydrologist Gina Tillis-Nash, Senior Hydrometeorologist Jessica Smith, Hydrometeorologist Katie Landry, ASA Kelly Webb and WFO New Orleans MIC Kenneth Graham (Photo: LMRFC)
(Nov. 19, 2012) - Recognizing 10 years of support for Louisiana Sea Grant's Ocean Commotion event, organizers presented a commemorative award to staffers from the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center and the New Orleans/Baton Rouge forecast office.
Ocean Commotion is an annual event sponsored by the Sea Grant College Program at Louisiana State University (LSU), one of 30 universities participating in NOAA's National Sea Grant College Program.
"The program brings together academia and public and private organizations to provide interactive exhibits for area students and teachers to learn about ocean, aquatic and coastal sciences in Louisiana," said Suzanne Van Cooten, hydrologist-in-charge of the river forecast center. "A more comprehensive understanding of these fields is critical since this state and its people are so dependent on natural resources." Ocean Commotion 2012 was held Oct. 30 at the LSU Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge. More than 1,700 kindergarten through eighth grade students and nearly 400 teachers and chaperones from area schools attended the event. The National Weather Service was one of 50 agencies participating with exhibits and information booths.
A variety of hands-on activities were available to accommodate children of all ages. NWS staffers used a soda bottle tornado simulator and a full size simulator to explain how tornadoes form and to answer questions. Other weather instruments on display included weather balloons, radiosondes, an upper air parachute and an eight-inch rain gauge.
These instruments gave students and teachers a better understanding of the processes and importance of atmospheric measurements. A river model was also available to teach students numerous hydrology principles, including runoff and flooding.
Each teacher who stopped by the National Weather Service booth received a package for use in their classroom and for distribution to fellow teachers. The packets included brochures, posters, activity books and DVDs pertaining to Louisiana's coastal resources, NWS internet services, river and flash flooding, hurricanes, thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes and weather safety.