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    • Content Expert: Roger Stern

      Facilitator: James Musyoka

      This course is for anyone who wants to analyse climatic data and use the results to improve decision making in agriculture, food security, health, tourism, and any other sector that climate affects.

      Workload: 7-10 hours per week.

      Planned Runs:

      August - September 2013

      Once you have applied, there are some pre-course activities we recommend. Click Here to read the list of recommended pre-SIAC activities. Everything you will need can be found in the Common Area.

      About the Course

      MET Services often provide short and medium term forecasts - you see the short term forecast on the news every day. Medium term forecasts are predictions of the coming season, and are useful in agriculture, tourism and many other sectors. These are useful forecasts, but we feel they are missing something. MET Services also hold vast quantities of historical climatic data. What if these data could be analysed? Analysing historical data can provide a valuable base-line, which the short and medium-term forecasts can build on. This way, a much clearer picture of what is really happening to our climate can be built, which can lead to better decision making accross industry and government. 

      In this course, you learn how to get valuable results by studying historical datasets. We have linked with MET services accross the world to provide real data for you to practise with. We believe the best way to learn statistics is to use it in real-world examples. 

      Who this course is for

      This course is for anyone involved with climatic data, including MET services, Agro-MET station staff, extension workers tasked with providing information and advice to users, and anyone else whose work is directly affected by the climate. 

      Learning Objectives

      When you have completed this course, you will be able to:

      • Use statistical software with climate data
        • Input data supplied in various formats into Instat
        • Explore and process the data
      • Communicate effectively with other specialists
        • Suppliers of climatic data to obtain what you need
        • End-users of climatic data to clarify the user's objectives
      • Carry out the steps needed to meet the objectives
        • Characterise the dataset using descriptive statistical concepts
        • Display results as tables and graphs
        • Interpret the results
        • Prepare a report or presentation
      • Discuss the contribution that Met Services can make to development
        • Assisting farmers' associations, local NGOs and private sector initiatives.

      Course Syllabus

      • Topic 1: Introduction to the Course; Review of Instat+
      • Topic 2: Creating a Tailored Product based on users' questions. Recognising and Extracting climatic events from daily data.
      • Topic 3: Climate change and variability. More practice with climatic events.
      • Topic 4: Review of descriptive statistics. Calculating risks from variability.
      • Topic 5: Interpreting risks and presenting results using graphs.
      • Topic 6: Explaining your results to end users.


      Currently, SIAC is only available to those being sponsored through one of the SIAC training schemes. Please contact Roger Stern (r.d.stern@reading.ac.uk) to find out more.