Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2019: Suffolk – Scott Mandia
Scott Mandia is Asst. Chair & Professor of Physical Sciences at Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) in Long Island, NY. Mr. Mandia has been teaching meteorology and climate change courses since 1990 and was the recipient of State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 1997.
Mr. Mandia is co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to protect the scientific endeavor. He is also co-Founder of Climate Science Rapid Response Team, a group of over 160 of the world’s top climate scientists who endeavor to provide highly accurate climate science information to media and government.
He is co-author of a book titled Rising Sea Levels: An Introduction to Cause and Impact as well as a series of weather and climate learning modules titled Investigations in Atmospheric Sciences that are geared toward non-science major college students.
“Although my traditional weather course has used web resources for the lab portion of the course for many years, I am rather new to the totally online classroom modality. I taught my first online course in summer of 2018 after building the course from the ground up. My course was the first fully online science lab course offered at SCCC. Now that we have degree programs that can be obtained online, there was a real need to have a lab science course for these programs so students could satisfy that graduation requirement. Because my labs were essentially already “online” my course was an obvious choice to scale to fully online. I designed the course in a way that captures the in-class experience as much as possible (many short YouTube videos helped there) as well as meeting ADA compliance. This is a weather course with map analysis so I worried about students who were visually impaired. I met with such a student and he helped me to design a way around that obstacle.”
“I learned two things while designing this course: 1) Faculty really have to take time to consider all of the learning challenges students have when designing and teaching any course; 2) When recreating the in-class experience, it really made me aware of just how much faculty do in the classroom that is “not in the notes”. It made me appreciate what I do and what my teaching colleagues do day in and day out.”
“I wish to thank Dr. Robin Hill for my nomination and for her wisdom as she and her staff guided my course design through their e-Learning workshops. I also wish to thank my colleagues, both faculty and administration, for supporting my effort to bring a lab science course fully online. I think this course is even better than my traditional course. I am so glad I took the plunge.”