Syllabus for EAS-131

INTRODUCTION TO METEOROLOGY


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the Weather

Bringing together geography, chemistry, physics, and other scientific disciplines, the course will cover topics including meteorological elements, air masses, synoptic, regional, and local scale weather systems; severe weather; meteorological observation, instrumentation, and forecasting; aviation weather; agricultural meteorology; air pollution, global warming, climate change, and renewable energy applications.

COURSE TOPICS

  1. Temperature
  2. Pressure
  3. Density
  4. Atmosphere
  5. Radiation
  6. The Greenhouse Effect
  7. Sphericity
  8. Conduction
  9. Covection
  10. Sea Breezes
  11. Santa Anas
  12. Atmospheric Moisture
  13. Bringing Air to Saturation
  14. Clouds
  15. Stability
  16. Buoyancy
  17. Pressure Gradient force (PGF)
  18. Coriolis force
  19. Frictional force
  20. Centrifugal force
  1. Atmospheric Circulation
  2. Fronts
  3. Extratropical Cyclones
  4. Middle Troposphere
  5. Wind Shear
  6. Mountains influences on the Atmosphere
  7. Thunderstorms
  8. Squall Lines
  9. Radar
  10. Supercells
  11. Tornadoes
  12. Dry Lines
  13. Oceans Influence on Weather and Climate
  14. Tropical Cyclones
  15. Light and Lighting
  16. Prediction and Predictability
  17. The Imperfect Forecast


COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of meteorology vocabulary.
  2. Identify and explain elements that manipulate the earth’s atmosphere.
  3. Describe and explain the origin, composition, structure and behavior of the earth’s atmosphere.
  4. Define radiation and explain the energy transfer by radiation, conduction and convection.
  5. Describe temperature, pressure, density, moisture, wind and circulation as it relates to the earth’s atmosphere.
  6. Identify what temperature really measures, why pressure decreases with height and why density is often the overlooked crucial factor.
  7. Describe the formation cold and warm fronts and their influence on forming cyclones, tornadoes, hurricanes, and typhoons.
  8. Describe the major cloud types, how they are classified and the concepts of stability and buoyancy.
  9. Identify four major air mass categories.
  10. Explain the impact that people have on the atmospheric environment.
  11. Give examples of the importance of meteorological events and their significance in affecting human lives.
  12. Describe the process of weather forecasting.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course:

DVD Videos

Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the Weather

Course No. 1796 (24 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)

Presented by Robert G. Fovell

University of California, Los Angeles

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

*All 24 lecture videos will be streamed within the course website.


COURSE STRUCTURE

Introduction to Meteorology is a three-credit online course, consisting of the eleven (11) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, study materials, and activities. Modules are listed below.

  1. Module 1
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 5, 6
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Temperature
  2. Pressure
  3. Density

  1. Module 2
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Atmosphere
  2. Radiation
  3. The Greenhouse Effect

  1. Module 3
  1. Course objectives covered in this module:1, 2
  1. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Sphericity
  2. Conduction
  3. Covection
  4. Sea Breezes
  5. Santa Anas

  1. Module 4
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 5
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Atmospheric Moisture
  2. Bringing Air to Saturation

  1. Module 5
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 8
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Clouds
  2. Stability
  3. Buoyancy

  1. Module 6
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Pressure Gradient force (PGF)
  2. Coriolis force
  3. Frictional force
  4. Centrifugal force
  1. Module 7
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 5, 7, 9
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Atmospheric Circulation
  2. Fronts
  3. Extratropical Cyclones

  1. Module 8
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 7
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Middle Troposphere
  2. Wind Shear
  3. Mountains influences on the Atmosphere

  1. Module 9
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 7
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Thunderstorms
  2. Squall Lines
  3. Radar
  4. Supercells
  5. Tornadoes
  6. Dry Lines

  1. Module 10
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Oceans Influence on Weather and Climate
  2. Tropical Cyclones
  3. Light and Lighting

  1. Module 11
  1. Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 10, 11, 12
  2. This module will cover the following topics:
  1. Prediction and Predictability
  2. The Imperfect Forecast

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take module quizzes and complete a final project.  You will also be asked to keep a journal and entries will be associated with each module and help prepare you for the module quizzes.  See below for more details.  Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

Introduction to Meteorology requires you to participate in eleven (11) graded discussion forums. There is also an ungraded but required introduction forum in Module 1.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course website is the discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussion forums within this course.

For posting guidelines and help with discussion forums, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five (5) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course website is the written assignment rubric used to aid in the grading of all written assignments.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

My Journal

You will be asked to research (Internet or other resources) all the topics within the study guide area for each module.  Using any word processing software, you will create journal entries for each module that includes what you have learned about each of these topics.

After performing this task you will watch the video lectures associated with that module.  Then using your journal entry as a guide, you will compare your research to the information given on each topic during the video lecture.  Update your journal entry with any information that will improve your understanding of the topic or concept.

 

Please note that many of the module quiz questions will come from your understanding of the topics given in the study guide and keeping this journal will help you prepare for the module quizzes and future courses on this subject.

*These journal assignments are not graded, optional but recommended.

Module Quizzes

You are required to take eleven (11) module quizzes (one per module).  Module quizzes with be based on the video lectures and the study guide supplied within each module.  

HINT!  

Many of the module quiz questions will come from your understanding of the topics given in the study guide.  Doing the journal entries will help you prepare for the module quiz.

Consult your Course Calendar for due dates.

Final Project

The final project is a written report that should be 10 pages long (not including references, images and graphs) and will be an opportunity to demonstrate and use what you have learned in this course.  

For this project, you will take an in-depth look at a discussion and analysis of a single notable weather instance that impacted a huge area of the Eastern US and Atlantic Ocean.  The project is to be your own work and, as with all written submissions, will be submitted to the university’s automated plagiarism analysis computer tools.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course website is the final project rubric used to aid in the grading of the final project.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (11)—20 percent
  2. Written assignments (5)—30 percent
  3. Module quizzes (11)—30 percent
  4. Final project—20 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams and arrange for proctors, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your midterm examination by following the instructions in the Online Student Handbook. Then complete the "Proctor Request Form" and submit it to the Office of Test Administration (OTA). You must make arrangements to take your examination and send in your "Proctor Request Form" to OTA before the end of the first week of the current semester. (See Administrative Forms in the General Information area of the course Web site.)

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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