The New Bedford Whaling Museum has an interesting crowdsourcing project called Old Weather that we’ve recommended to teachers and students in our climate change curriculum. The museum is inviting the public to become “citizen scientists” and help transcribe logbooks, extracting information about weather observations. Scientists will use these transcriptions to improve their climate model projections and knowledge of past environmental conditions. Historians will use them to track past ship movements and tell the stories of the people on board. Even if students don’t spend time going through logs, I think just knowing about the project is neat— a great intersection of history, science, and geography that shows how historical documents can be useful in all sorts of ways!
How would you teach these whaling logs?
How would you use them in Middle School?
How would you use them in High School?
How would you use them in College?