Teaching and current events

What I like most about teaching ‘Atmospheric Chemistry’ (this semester again at McGill) is the fact that current examples are always at hand: Discussing biogenic aerosols? A dust storm is never far away! Temperature inversions and increased pollutant concentrations in the PBL? Just look to the South-Western US!

In a nutshell – when talking about atmospheric processes, these examples make the taught material relevant and important for students. And in the best of cases they bring these events to class for further discussion, such as recently during a Sudden Stratospheric Warming event (including the opportunity to discuss and rectify some serious mistakes in the article).

Teaching in the current context at its best (and I have not even talked about research papers that are published every week and warrant a discussion in class!)

So, what is a CEGEP?

I am checking out open positions and I have recently visited a CEGEP (John Abbott College) to inform myself, about how this system works. It was extremely interesting and I had a lot of questions, which were answered patiently.

CEPGEP (College d’enseignement general et professionnel) is a Quebec speciality and is a mandatory 2-year “college”, before entering university. The curriculum consists of the last year of high-school and the first year of university including several advanced courses recognized at university level, so students with a DEC degree from CEGEP skip the first university year. Attendance is not mandatory and the atmosphere is very university like, although students are younger. There is also a strong carreer advice component. CEGEPs also offer 3-year programmes in engineering and other technical fields and graduates usually start working straight away. CEGEP teachers are eligible for federal and provincial research grants.

The atmosphere was very friendly and open. They do not have a suitable open position for now, but I will keep my eyes peeled.

For more info see: Wikipedia (French)