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Sci3639 Introduction to Weather Dynamics - Brenda Lobatos Discussion

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SCI 3639 Introduction to Weather Dynamics

Spring 2019

Catalog description

This is an introductory course with a large on-line component on the fundamentals of atmospheric science. Current weather data are accessed via the Internet, and learning activities are keyed to the day's weather. General topics are studied such as how one characterizes various phenomena and meteorological effects, and how these are measured. This course may not be used to satisfy physics major or minor requirements. Prerequisite: Upper division status and completion of General Education Areas A and B. This course satisfies the Theme S:  Sustainability and Justice. 150 minutes’ lecture/discussion per week.

Instructor:        Dr. Vladimir Gasparyan

Office:        Science III, Room 306

Office Hours:        M W 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

Phone:        654–6004


Student learning outcomes

This course satisfies Theme S and is a reinforcement for critical thinking and quantitative reasoning.

THEME S: Sustainability and Justice

Goal 1: Students will understand how social, cultural, and environmental history and practices contribute to current global conditions and future challenges, including the impact on and relationship to social responsibility.

Outcome 1A: Students will identify at least two factors that influence sustainability and justice; factors may be economic, social, ethical, cultural, political, and/or scientific, among others.

Outcome 1B: Students will analyze the connectedness between at least two factors that influence sustainability and justice.

Critical Thinking Reinforcement

Goal 1: Students will demonstrate critical reasoning and problem solving.

Outcome 1A. Students will analyze, evaluate, and/or construct arguments.

Quantitative Reasoning Reinforcement

Goal 1: Students will demonstrate proficiency in quantitative reasoning.

Outcome 1A: Students will correctly utilize mathematical calculations and estimation skills.

Outcome 1B: Students will demonstrate quantitative reasoning skills.

Outcome 1C: Students will successfully apply quantitative reasoning skills to the real world.

Course Objectives (relationship to student learning outcomes)

CO1. Interpret and analyze current weather conditions using weather maps and imagery, recognizing patterns depicted by isobars, fronts, and local weather elements (CTR-1A.QRR-1A, QRR-1B, QRR-1C)

CO2. List the composition and vertical structure of the atmosphere (CTR-1A).

CO3. Recognize the elements of weather and climate: solar radiation, temperature, moisture, pressure and winds, air masses and fronts and atmospheric disturbances (CTR-1A, QRR-1B, QRR-1C).

CO4. Identify of mechanisms that drive atmospheric water and energy cycles (CTR-1A, TS-1A, TS-1B).

CO5. Recognize the interactions between human activities, modification of the earth-atmosphere system, and changes to the atmosphere and climate (CTR-1A, TS-1A, TS-1B)


Weather Studies – Textbook 6TH Edition and Investigations Manual 2018-2019 . American Meteorological Society. ISBN 978-1-944970-27-7. This is a ``bundle'' with the textbook (Weather Studies: Introduction to Atmospheric Science, Sixth edition) and the 2018-2019 Investigations Manual.

AMS Website:  Students can have access to the American  Meteorological Society website for the course. The website contains useful resources such as surface weather stations symbols, satellite images, practice quizzes, etc.

The AMS has provided Power Point presentations associated with all the chapters in the textbook.

The relevant chapters in the textbook are listed in the Schedule of Activities.

Homework: This refers to the exercises in the Investigations Manual.  There will be 8 investigations in total. The points for the homework will be equally distributed between the 8 investigations. In order to submit your homework, you will need to go to the left menu in CONTENT, then click on CHAPTER 1. There you will find the link "1A" to submit investigation 1A, and "1B" to submit investigation 1B. When you click, you will see a format like a test, in which you see only the question number, and then the multiple choices for the answer. I recommend that you solve the investigations before, write down the answers and then just go to blackboard to submit.  See Schedule of Activities. Further Details will be provided in class.

Quizzes: There will be 15-minute chapter quizzes to be taken via Blackboard. No make-up quizzes will be given. Quizzes are multiple choice tests of ten questions each. See the AMS website for (self-scored) practice quizzes. There will be a total of 7 quizzes, all of them with equal value.

Students can take the quizzes any time, but they *must* submit their answers electronically before 11:59 PM on the due date.

Exams:        There will be two 60-minute exams. The format will be the same as the quizzes but will cover four chapters each plus other material. See the Schedule of Activities.

Paper:        This is a five- to seven-page paper (1 1/2 spacing, 12 fonts maximum) due the last week of classes. Details are provided in the Chapter 15 folder. Access it by going to the link “Content”, then “Chapter 15”.

Discussion Board: You will participate in 3 discussion boards. The first one is in the first week and you introduce yourself, discuss about Chapter 1, and reply to two classmates. The second participation is for Chapter 3 and the last discussion board is for Chapter 7. Your post must be 200 characters and your reply 100 characters at least. Go to syllabus in the left tab menu in blackboard to see the discussion board rubric and requirements.


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