METEO 003 Suarez SP2015

INTRODUCTORY METEOROLOGY Instructor: Astrid Suarez CLASS LOCATION: 112 Walker Building CLASS TIME: MWF 1:25PM-2:15PM

INTRODUCTORY METEOROLOGY (METEO 003) —

Nontechnical treatment of fundamentals of modern meteorology and the effects of weather and climate.

OBJECTIVES: 

The objectives of the course are for students to gain a better understanding of atmospheric structure and processes so they can better apply the weather information they encounter. This course aims to answer common questions about weather and climate while clarifying common misconceptions.  In order to reach these goals a basic foundation of the underlying physics that govern the atmosphere will be presented before a survey of interesting atmospheric phenomena. Skillsets that will be developed include: contouring and interpreting weather maps and forecasts, interpreting human impacts on global climate, gaining an appreciation and understanding of severe summer and winter weather, becoming a more critical and educated consumer of weather information, and gaining the tools and knowledge necessary to engage in lifelong learning.

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
(GN) METEO 003 satisfies the Natural Sciences requirement of General Education

CLASS LOCATION: 112 Walker Building

CLASS TIME: MWF 1:25PM-2:15PM

INSTRUCTOR: Astrid Suarez, Ph.D. Graduate Student, Department of Meteorology

E-MAIL: ais5396@psu.edu

OFFICE: 623 Walker Building

OFFICE HOURS:

M 2:30 PM-3:30 PM, W 12:00 PM-1:00 PM, or by appointment

TEACHING ASSISTANTS: 

  • Sreece Goldberger (sdg152@psu.edu)
    Office hours: W 2:30 PM-3:30 PM
    Room: 530 Walker Building
  • Matt Brothers (mdb5420@psu.edu)
    Office hours: R 2:30 PM-3:30 PM
    Room: 606B Walker Building (The Weather Center)

REQUIRED TEXTBOOK:

L.M. Grenci and J.M. Nese (2010): A World of Weather: Fundamentals of Meteorology. 5th Edition, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., 794 pp, ISBN: 978-07575-5894-8.
***This book is on reserve at the Earth and Mineral Sciences Library in Deike Building.***

GRADING POLICY:

  • A   (93-100%)
  • A-  (92-89%)
  • B+ (85-88%)
  • B   (81-84%)
  • B-  (77-80%)
  • C+ (73-76%)
  • C   (67-72%)
  • D   (60-67%)
  • F   (0-60%)
  • Best Midterm Grade – 20%
  • Worst Midterm Grade – 15%
  • Best 8 Labs - 40% (5% each)
  • Final Exam - 25%
  • Extra Credit - up to 6%

EXAMS:

There will be two midterm exams and one final examination. Exams will be based on material from the lectures, labs, and textbook. Before each midterm there will be an entire class period devoted to review. Midterm exams are non-cumulative.  The final exam will take place during Finals Week and will be cumulative with emphasis on material covered after the 2nd midterm. There will be a review session in our final lecture to help prepare you, and I will hold extra office hours in that last week.

LABS:

Nine labs will be given, generally on Friday. These labs consist of a series of questions and exercises regarding the material you have seen in the lectures. Each lab will begin with an introduction by the instructor and/or TA, and you will then be given much of the class period to work on that week's lab under the TA's supervision. You will have a full week to submit each lab. No late labs will be accepted! Note that only your best 8 of the 9 labs will contribute to your grade (5% each), so you will have some breathing room if need be.

EXTRA CREDIT:

There will be several opportunities for extra credit throughout the semester that will be announced near the beginning of the semester.  These small projects will require some synthesis of knowledge gained in class and a bit of creative thinking.  Each graded project is worth up to an additional 3% points and you may do 2 projects throughout the semester for a total of up to 6 extra percentage points added to your grade.   All projects are due one week before the end of class – NO EXCEPTIONS!

COURSE WEBSITE: 

Powerpoints for each lecture will be posted on ANGEL. Assignments will also be available on ANGEL, and answer keys will be posted after grading is complete. Midterm answer keys will be posted after midterm grading is complete. Additional links and recommended websites may be mentioned in class and posted on ANGEL under "Resources".

PARTICIPATION AND ATTENDANCE:

No formal grades will be given for participation or attendance (no pop quizzes). However, some examinable material will only be covered in class and will not be included in the powerpoint presentations that will be posted on ANGEL the day of each lecture. If you are absent from a lecture, I encourage you to ask a classmate for a run-down of what you may have missed. There will also be some demonstrations and videos that will only be available in-class.

Accommodations for students with disabilities:

The Office of Disability Services at http://equity.psu.edu/ods/ requests and maintains disability-related documents; certifies eligibility for services; determines academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services; and develops plans for the provision of academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services as mandated under Title II of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  A list of these ADA List of Services is provided at http://equity.psu.edu/ods/current-students.

Academic integrity:

For information about the EMS Integrity Policy, which this course adopts, see:
http://www.ems.psu.edu/current_undergrad_students/academics/integrity_policy

Here’s a brief interpretation of that integrity policy, as it applies specifically to this course:  You may never copy answers from another person and present them as your own.  This applies to quizzes, exams, and problem sets.  You are allowed to discuss the problem sets with other students, but the work you turn in must be your own, in your own words.  Suspicion of copying on problem sets will result in an immediate 50% reduction for the first offense, and an F for the course on the second offense.  Cheating on exams or quizzes will result in an immediate F for the course.

Accommodations for students with disabilities:

The Office of Disability Services at http://equity.psu.edu/ods/ requests and maintains disability-related documents; certifies eligibility for services; determines academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services; and develops plans for the provision of academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services as mandated under Title II of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  A list of these ADA List of Services is provided at http://equity.psu.edu/ods/current-students.

Cancellations and delays. 

Campus emergencies, including weather delays, are announced on Penn State Live at http://live.psu.edu/ and communicated to cellphones, email, the Penn State Facebook page, and Twitter via PSUTXT sign up at http://live.psu.edu/psutxt .

SCHEDULE:

Date / Lecture / Topic / Chapter

  • 01/12/2015 (M) 1 Course Overview/Introduction to Meteorology 1
  • 01/14/2015 (W) 2 Weather Analysis and Observing Tools
  • 01/16/2015 (F) 3 Introduction to Radiation and Heat Transfer 2
  • 01/19/2015 (M) Martin Luther King Day - No Classes
  • 01/21/2015 (W) 4 Temperature Controls 3
  • 01/23/2015 (F) Lab 1
  • 01/26/2015 (M) 5 Temperature, Air Masses and Fronts
  • 01/28/2015 (W) 6 Water in the Atmosphere 4
  • 01/30/2015 (F) Lab 2 (Lab 1 due)
  • 02/02/2015 (M) 7 Clouds and Humidity
  • 02/04/2015 (W) 8 Satellite and Radar Remote Sensing 5
  • 02/06/2015 (F) Lab 3 (Lab 2 due)
  • 02/09/2015 (M) 9 Introduction to Atmospheric Pressure 6
  • 02/11/2015 (W) 10 Surface Pressure and Fronts
  • 02/13/2015 (F) Lab 4 (Lab 3 due)
  • 02/16/2015 (M) 11 Upper-Air Patterns 7
  • 02/18/2015 (W) 12 Linking Surface and Upper Air Pattern 12
  • 02/20/2015 (F) Lab 5 (Lab 4 due)
  • 02/23/2015 (M) 13 Atmospheric Stability 8
  • 02/25/2015 (W) Review Session
  • 02/27/2015 (F) Exam I (up to lecture 10)
  • 03/02/2015 (M) 14 Cloud Types and Precipitation Formation
  • 03/04/2015 (W) 15 Mid-latitude Cyclones 13
  • 03/06/2015 (F) (Lab 5 due)
  • 03/09/2015 (M) Spring Break - No Classes
  • 03/11/2015 (W)
  • 03/13/2015 (F)
  • 03/16/2015 (M) 16 Winter Weather-Precipitation Types and Lake-effect Snow 16
  • 03/18/2015 (W) 17 Winter Weather-Blizzards
  • 03/20/2015 (F) Lab 6
  • 03/23/2015 (M) 18 Thunderstorm-Basics 9
  • 03/25/2015 (W) 19 Thunderstorm Types 14
  • 03/27/2015 (F) Lab 7 (Lab 6 due)
  • 03/30/2015 (M) 20 Severe Weather, Supercells and Tornadoes 15
  • 04/01/2015 (W) 21 Tropical Weather-General Circulation and Monsoons 10
  • 04/03/2015 (F) Lab 8 (Lab 7 due)
  • 04/06/2015 (M) 22 Tropical Weather-Ocean Currents and El Niño
  • 04/08/2015 (W) Review Session
  • 04/10/2015 (F) Exam II (up to lecture 20)
  • 04/13/2015 (M) 23 Hurricanes-Structure and Formation 11
  • 04/15/2015 (W) 24 Hurricanes-Forecasting and Climatology
  • 04/17/2015 (F) Lab 9 (Lab 8 due)
  • 04/20/2015 (M) 25 Weather Forecasting-Numerical Weather Prediction 17
  • 04/22/2015 (W) 26 Forecasting Basics
  • 04/24/2015 (F) (Lab 9 due)
  • 04/27/2015 (M) 27 Human Effects on Weather and Climate 18
  • 04/29/2015 (W) 28 Global Warming
  • 05/01/2015 (F) Review Session

Final Exam (cumulative with emphasis on lectures 21-30)

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