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Courses for AOS Majors

These courses are intended for students majoring in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and for other interested students with a background in the physical sciences.

AOS 310: Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean I (3 credits) Introduction to theory of fluid motions for atmosphere and ocean. Elementary kinematics, fundamental forces, effects of earth's gravity and rotation, concepts and applications of hydrostatic and geostrophic balance. Prereq: Physics 208 or con reg and Math 234 or con reg.

AOS 311: Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean II (3 credits) Intermediate theory of fluid motions for atmosphere and ocean. Emphasis on large-scale applications and basic theory for geophysical wave types. Thermal wind shear, frictional flow, vorticity concepts, Rossby waves, Sverdrup ocean flow. Prereq: AOS 310, 330.

AOS 323:  Science of Climate Change (3 credits) This is a calculus-based treatment of climate stem physics and the mechanisms of modern day anthropogenic climate change.  By the end of this course, students will understand:  a.  How solar radiation and rotating fluid dynamics determine the basic climate state; b.  Mechanisms of natural variability and change in climate; c.  Why anthropogenic climate change is occurring; and d.  Which scientific uncertainties are most important to estimates of 21st century change.  Prereq: PHYS 103, 201 or 207; and MATH 221 not open to students who have enrolled in ATM OCN 425.

AOS 330: Physics of the Atmosphere and Ocean I (3 credits) Physical variables, laws, characteristics and direct measurements for atmosphere and ocean. Thermodynamics and moist atmospheric processes. Basic physics of clouds, precipitation, and chemical constituents. Prereq: Physics 208 or con reg and Math 234 or con reg.

AOS 331: Climate Environments of the Past (3 credits) (Same as Geog., Env. St. 331). Climate trends and patterns of the most recent 10,000 years are examined. Studies are based upon a wide variety of surrogate climatic information. Prereq: Atm Ocn/Geog/Envir St 121, or Geog 120, 123, 124 or 127 or Atm Ocn 100.

AOS 340: Physics of the Atmosphere and Ocean II (2 credits) Radiation, energy budget and remote sensing of atmosphere and upper ocean. Scattering, absorption, emission and diabatic heating by shortwave and longwave processes. Remote sensing techniques and applications, including passive satellite soundings and active radar probes. Prereq: ATM OCN 330.

AOS 401: Topics in Meteorology (2-3 credits) Special topics to be given as the need and opportunity arise. May be repeated for credit. Prereq: Cons. Inst.

AOS 405: AOS Senior Capstone Seminar (1 credit) Required senior seminar for AOS majors provides a synthesis and overview. Research on a topic of the student's choosing is presented at the end. Prereq: ATM OCN 310, 311, 330, 340.

AOS 425: Global Climate Processes (3 credits) Overview of physical processes of the atmosphere and its coupling to the ocean and land. Understanding its seasonal climatology and variability. Synthesis through application of junior AOS core dynamics and physics to quantitatively understand diabatic, transport and dissipative processes. Examples include global warming, air-ocean coupling, ENSO, ozone hole, tropospheric water and chemistry issues, diurnal to interannual time scales. Prereq: ATM OCN 311, 340 or cons. inst.

AOS 441: Radar and Satellite Meteorology (3 credits) This course provides undergraduate students with the necessary knowledge about radar and satellite meteorology, instrumentation and data analysis. Prereq: Atm Ocn 340 or cons inst.

AOS 452: Synoptic Lab I: The Frontal Cyclone (4 credits) Cyclone and frontal theory; case studies illustrating the structure and evolution of the frontal cyclone; diagnostic techniques: interpretation of satellite photographs, preparation of vertical cross sections and isentropic analysis. Prereq: ATM OCN 311 and 340, or cons. inst.

AOS 453: Synoptic Lab II: Mesoscale Meteorology (4 credits) Local wind systems, thunderstorms, mesoscale convection systems, interactions with synoptic scale weather. Analysis, prediction, nowcasting and observation of mesoscale weather, including interpretation of satellite and radar information. Prereq: ATM OCN 311 and 340, or cons. inst.

AOS 455: Severe Storm Forecasting and Observation (1 credit) Application of severe storm forecasting and nowcasting techniques under operational conditions. Severe storm observation and photography (storm chasing) application in the field. Prereq: ATM OCN 453 or cons. inst.

AOS 471: Numerical Techniques in Weather Prediction (3 credits) Introduction to mathematical aspects of numerical weather prediction models. Formulation and solution properties for finite-difference equations. Hands-on experimentation with simple models for energy balance, advection, and motion. Numerical performance of current operational numerical weather prediction models. Prereq: ATM OCN 310, 311, 330 and 340 or con. inst.

AOS 472: Scientific Background to Global Environmental Problems (3 credits). A one-semester course designed to provide those elements of physics, atmospheric sciences, chemistry, biology and geology which are essential to a scientific understanding of global environmental problems. Specific examples of such problems include global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain and environmental toxins. Three lectures per week. Prereq. high school algebra & 1 sem chem or physics, or cons inst.


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