Syllabus for EAS-131



Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the Weather brings together geography, chemistry, physics, and other scientific disciplines. The course covers 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.


  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Density
  • Atmosphere
  • Radiation
  • The Greenhouse Effect
  • Sphericity
  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • Sea Breezes
  • Santa Anas
  • Atmospheric moisture
  • Bringing air to saturation
  • Clouds
  • Stability
  • Buoyancy
  • Pressure gradient force (PGF)
  • Coriolis force
  • Frictional force
  • Centrifugal force
  • Atmospheric circulation
  • Fronts
  • Extratropical cyclones
  • Middle troposphere
  • Wind shear
  • Mountains influences on the atmosphere
  • Thunderstorms
  • Squall lines
  • Radar
  • Supercells
  • Tornadoes
  • Dry lines
  • Oceans influence on weather and climate
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Light and lighting
  • Prediction and predictability
  • The imperfect forecast


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 of 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.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. (There is no textbook for this course.)

Video Programs

The video programs are being offered via streaming video technology through the course Web site. See the Video Playlist in the top section of the course space.


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


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 with entries associated with each module that will 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 Introductions Forum in Module 1. Located within the Evaluation Rubrics folder of the course Web site 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 folder of the course Web site 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 include 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. They are optional but recommended.

Module Quizzes

You are required to take eleven (11) module quizzes (one per module). Module quizzes are 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 United States 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 folder of the course Web site 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.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

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:






























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.).


First Steps to Success

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

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


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 can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. 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, or without identifying it as a direct quote, 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.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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