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Air Parcels and Cloud Formation

Last week, I went back to school. Well, just for the day. I’ve been collaborating with a scientist at SFSU on a project for meteorology students, and my participation in the project is just gearing up, now. Dr Garcia packed more than five weeks of material into one lecture for me. He’s a remarkable teacher. My head is still swimming with air parcels, evaporation rates, and condensation rates. Good stuff.

One thing I noticed during the lecture, was how Dr Garcia used the chalkboard. Often, he’d draw a simple diagram, and then draw and redraw details as he explained a concept. He was setting the stage, and then moving the actors around.

In this project, there is a combination of “thought experiments” as well as models of physical science. This could be one of the most tricky things to communicate. The thought experiments are conceptual models that allow us to take a sample of our universe, pretend it’s in an isolated “test tube”, and apply the same physics as one does in a chemistry lab. I may need to add an introduction to the project that helps with this.