Department of Geosciences
GEO-SCI 354: Climatology
Inside the eye of Hurricane Katrina - August, 2005
|Objectives||Location/Time||Policies||Textbook||Reference Books||Web Site|
|Assignments||Project||Office Hours/Questions||Grading||Schedule||Some Useful Links|
|Climate System Research Center||Department of Geosciences||University of Massachusetts||Academic Calendar|
|Weather Underground||NWS Forecast Office, Boston, MA||The Weather Channel||Northeast Radar Loop||Northeast Visible Satellite Loop|
Course objectives center on mastery of subject material and improvement in scientific reasoning. By the completion of this course students should be able to:
- explain components of the earth/atmosphere system such as radiation and energy balance, the hydrological cycle, and general atmospheric and ocean circulation.
- differentiate climates across multiple spatial scales.
- interpret the evidence supporting global climate change and weigh its implications.
- create new knowledge through inquiry and discovery.
The class will meet in Morrill Science Center II, room 225, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:05 am to 9:55 am.
- Attendance at all classes is essential.
- There will be many opportunities for you to participate in class. Your participation is highly encouraged, since the level of your participation will constitute a substantial part of your grade. Participation will also aid you in a better understanding of the class material.
- You are required to be present for exams on the the scheduled days. In extraordinary circumstances I will reschedule an exam for an individual, but only if I am notified in advance of the exam.
- Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated and will lead to a reduction in final grade or course failure. See Academic Honesty Policy below.
- Submission of assignments (see below) after assigned dates will result in reduction of 5 percentage points (or the letter grade equivalent) for each day late.
- Many of the materials created for this course are the intellectual property of the instructor. This includes, but is not limited to, the syllabus, lectures and course notes. Except to the extent not protected by copyright law, any use, distribution or sale of such materials requires the permission of the instructor. Please be aware that it is a violation of university policy to reproduce, for distribution or sale, class lectures or class notes, unless copyright has been explicitly waived by the faculty member.
Academic dishonesty is prohibited in all programs of the University. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and facilitating dishonesty. Appropriate sanctions may be imposed on any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty. Instructors should take reasonable steps to address academic misconduct. Any person who has reason to believe that a student has committed academic dishonesty should bring such information to the attention of the appropriate course instructor as soon as possible.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to making reasonable, effective and appropriate accommodations to meet the needs of students with disabilities and help create a barrier free campus. If you are in need of accommodations for a documented disability, register with Disability Services to have an accommodation letter sent to your faculty. It is your responsibility to initiate these services and communicate with faculty ahead of time to manage accommodations in a timely manner. For more information, consult the Disability Services website at http://www.umass.edu/disability
The text is Climatology by Robert V. Rohli and Anthony J. Vega, Third Edition, Copyright 2015 by Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. (ISBN 978-1284032307) Purchase of the text is optional. The text is not necessary for the course, but can provide valuable reinforcement and supplementary material. It will be available at the Textbook Annex. Text readings are coordinated with classes listed in the Schedule below.
An excellent two volume reference, Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather (QC 854 E 523 1996) is available in the reference section of the Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library, Lederle GRC lowrise, floor 2. Additional meteorology and climatology books are available in that library. The books have call letters from QC851 to QC999.
A great deal of material is available only via this course Web Site. You must familiarize yourself with the procedures necessary to navigate this site. The Schedule will be updated at various times through the semester. Changes will be announced in class.
The assignments are out of class work. See the schedule below. You will have one week to complete each assignment.
Assignment #1 - An energy balance model
Assignment #2 - Analysis of surface weather map
Assignment #3 - Teleconnections and Temperature Cycles
You are required to complete a class project describing the major influences on the climate of a given location. You will explain the overarching climate influences in terms of the physical environment and the major processes for that location. As the semester progresses you may find it helpful to think about how various factors such as radiation, the hydrological cycle, atmospheric and ocean circulation, land/ocean contrasts and others controls influence the climate of your location. Click here for details on requirements for the project.
Office hours are Tuesdays 1:00-2:00 PM, Wednesdays 11:15-12:20 PM, and by appointment. My office is in the Climate System Research Center, rm. 134B, Morrill Science Center II.
Exam #1 20% Exam #2 20% Final Project 20% Assignments 20% Quizzes/Exercises 10% Class participation 10%
Percentage Totals Grade Credit Points 93-100% A 4.0 90-92% A- 3.7 87-89% B+ 3.3 83-86% B 3.0 80-82% B- 2.7 77-79% C+ 2.3 73-76% C 2.0 70-72% C- 1.7 67-69% D+ 1.3 63-66% D 1.0 60-62% D- 0.7 59% or below F 0 Incomplete INC 0
Below is the projected course schedule. Changes made during the semester will be reflected here.
T - textbook pages
A - assignment due
P - project due
1 Wed 9/9 The climate system T:1-10,27-33 2 Fri 9/11 Solar and terrestrial radiation T:18,19,80,83-86 3 Mon 9/14 The global energy balance T:14-15,89-92 4 Wed 9/16 Net Radiation and Temperature See Moodle (week of Sep 11) 5 Fri 9/18 Water in the earth/atmosphere system T:106-114 6 Mon 9/21 Water in the earth/atmosphere system T:119-123 7 Wed 9/23 Water in the earth/atmosphere system T:92-95; A1 8 Fri 9/25 Stability T:97-100 9 Mon 9/28 Precipitation formation 10 Wed 9/30 Atmospheric motion I T:37-43 11 Fri 10/2 Atmospheric motion II T:44-46 12 Mon 10/5 General circulation See Moodle (week of Oct 2) 13 Wed 10/7 Atmospheric circulation: upper level and surface T:135-141,147-151 14 Fri 10/9 Vorticity and Mid-latitude cyclones T:144-145,165-169 Mon 10/12 Holiday - No class Tue 10/13 Exam #1 15 Wed 10/14 Project 16 Fri 10/16 Air masses and Fronts T:144-145,165-166 17 Mon 10/19 Tropical climates T:156-159 18 Wed 10/21 El Niño/Southern Oscillation T:62-67; A2 19 Fri 10/23 Monsoon climates T:186-187 20 Mon 10/26 Polar climates; Desert climates Outline due 21 Wed 10/28 Mid-latitude climates I T:177-187 22 Fri 10/30 Mid-latitude climates II T:337-340 (NAO & AO) 23 Mon 11/2 Mid-latitude climates III Hurricane Sandy readings on Moodle 24 Wed 11/4 Severe weather T:178-179 (in Mid-latitude climates I) 25 Fri 11/6 Local climates; Nor'easters 26 Mon 11/9 Carbon cycle T:13-15 Wed 11/11 Holiday - No class 27 Fri 11/13 Influences on global climate change T:289-295;298-301 28 Mon 11/16 Observed climate changes Wen 11/18 Exam #2 29 Fri 11/20 Climate projections for the future 30 Mon 11/23 Paleoclimatology T:278-290; A3 Wen 11/25 Project - No class Fri 11/27 Holiday - No class 31 Mon 11/30 Climate Modeling T:322-325 32 Wed 12/2 Impacts of climate change - Northeast U.S. 33 Fri 12/4 Mitigation and adaptation T:317-319 34 Mon 12/7 Mitigation and adaptation T:317-319 35 Wed 12/9 Project Climate Descriptions 36 Fri 12/11 Project Climate Descriptions P
Return to Course Info and Links