Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Elen Cutrim

Second Advisor

Dr. James Biles

Third Advisor

Dr. Joseph Stoltman

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Computer products developed to visualize and integrate meteorological products with real-time data can create a virtual reality of the atmosphere. These advanced technologies help educators to improve teaching techniques in the classroom for science and non-science majors and increase the students' interest in learning as well. One of these products, the Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), was recently developed by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) project, Unidata, to visualize and integrate geoscience data. This study compares students' performance in the laboratory sessions using IDV-based and MANUAL-based exercises. Comparison of lab scores with exam scores of questions on the same topic shows that there is no statistically significant difference at 95% of confident interval between both methods' scores. However, students in the IDV lab show an exam average slightly higher than students in the MANUAL lab.

Another important aspect of this study was the evaluation of student performance related to four specific topics: station model, frontal systems, air mass/temperature advection and 500 hPa geopotential. The results show that the students have difficulty in interpreting the wind direction convention. Survey about the IDV method shows the students found the IDV-based exercises very useful.