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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015

Approved Courses

The following list includes undergraduate courses that have been approved as of May 2014.  Courses added after that date do not appear in this list.  Courses eliminated after that date may still appear.  Not every course is offered regularly.  Students should consult the Schedule of Classes at www.testudo.umd.edu to ascertain which courses are actually offered during a given semester.


Number   Eligibility
000-099   Non-credit course
100-199   Primarily freshman course
200-299   Primarily sophomore course
300-399   Junior, senior course not acceptable for credit toward graduate degrees
386-387   Campus-wide internship courses; refer to information describing Experiential Learning
400-499   Junior, senior course acceptable for credit toward some graduate degree
500-599   Professional School course (Dentistry, Architecture, Law, Medicine) or post-baccalaureate course
600-899   Course restricted to graduate students
799   Master Thesis credit
899   Doctoral Dissertation credit


Use the search box below to view the approved courses.

Courses in "AOSC-Atmospheric and Oceanic Science"

AOSC - Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

AOSC 123 Causes and Implications of Global Change (3) Also offered as: GEOL123. Credit only granted for: AOSC123, GEOG123, GEOL123, or METO123. Formerly: METO123. Responsible policy and decision making on issues related to the global environment requires understanding of the basic scientific issues, relationships between the geophysical and biological sciences, the impacts on regional and global endeavors, and the political manner in which humans respond. This course embodies an integrated introduction to the broad scientific and social aspects of the global change problem.

AOSC 200 Weather and Climate (3) Prerequisite: MATH110 or MATH115. Recommended: Concurrent enrollment in AOSC201. Formerly: METO200. Broad survey of the state of knowledge and problems of atmospheric science. Origin and structure of the atmosphere, meteorological observations, weather maps, forecasting, satellites, energetics, wind, general circulation, storms, severe weather, climate change, air pollution.

AOSC 201 Weather and Climate Laboratory (1) Corequisite: AOSC200. Formerly: METO201. Laboratory exercises to supplement AOSC200, including weather observations, weather map analysis, use of the Internet, forecasting practice and climate modeling.

AOSC 346 Cycles in the Earth System (3) Prerequisite: GEOG123, AOSC123, GEOL123, or MATH140; or permission of CMNS-Atmospheric & Oceanic Science department. Recommended: PHYS171, PHYS141, PHYS161, or MATH141. Also offered as: GEOG346, GEOL346. The Earth System operates through some fundamental cycles such as water, energy, and the carbon cycles. This course will build on GEOL/GEOG/AOSC123 starting with concept of feedbacks within the Earth System, global energy balance and the Greenhouse Effect. A brief introduction to the atmospheric and oceanic circulation will lead to the water cycle connecting the land, ocean, and atmosphere to the Earth System. Introduction to the Global carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycles will be followed by the concept of long-term climate regulation and short-term climate variability. The concepts of cycles, feedbacks, forcings, and responses in the Earth System will be applied to Global Warming and Ozone Depletion.

AOSC 358 Special Topics in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (1-4) Repeatable to 12 credits. Special topics in atmospheric and oceanic science are given intensive study. The topic of concentration varies, from semester to semester and depends on student and faculty interests. Often, specialists from other institutions are invited to the campus on a visiting lectureship basis to conduct the course.

AOSC 375 Introduction to the Blue Ocean (3) Also offered as: GEOL375. Credit only granted for: GEOL375 or METO375. Oceans are an important component of the Earth System and this course builds towards Earth System Science education. Oceanography is an intrinsically interdisciplinary subject with strong connections to astronomy (tidal forces), biology (ecosystems), geography (world climate), geology (sea floor tectonics), and physics (waves). We begin with the history of ocean exploration and origin of Earth and life and learn about properties of seawater, air-sea interactions, atmospheric and oceanic circulation, El Nino-Southern Oscillation, waves, tides, and tsunamis.

AOSC 386 Experiential Learning (3-6) Restriction: Junior standing or higher; and must have a learning proposal approved by the Office of Experiential Learning Programs, faculty sponsor and student's internship sponsor. Formerly: METO386.

AOSC 400 Physical Meteorology of the Atmosphere (3) Prerequisite: 1 course with a minimum grade of C- from (PHYS171, PHYS161, MATH141); or permission of CMNS-Atmospheric & Oceanic Science department. Formerly: METO400. The application of basic classical physics, chemistry and mathematics t the study of the atmosphere. Composition of the atmosphere; energy sources and sinks (radiation in the atmosphere; radiative balance and radiative forcing of atmospheric processes); atmospheric thermodynamics; clouds and precipitation physics; atmospheric electricity and optics; mesoscale processes (e.g., orographic mesoscale phenomena and instabilities); air mass boundaries; severe weather, tropical cyclones; storms; global circulation.

AOSC 401 Climate Dynamics and Earth System Science (3) Prerequisite: AOSC400 or AOSC200; or permission of instructor. Formerly: METO401. The global weather and climate system; the natural variability of the atmosphere-ocean-biosphere; carbon cycle and biogeochemistry. Potential human effects: greenhouse effects, deforestation, acid rain, ozone depletion, nuclear winter. Social, political and economic effects of changes in global environment. Policy options.

AOSC 424 Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Ocean (3) Prerequisite: 1 course with a minimum grade of C- from (PHYS171, PHYS161, MATH141); or permission of instructor. Many of the properties of the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are most easily observed from satellite remote sensing. This course will provide students with a hands-on introduction to a variety of passive and active sensing techniques and sensors observing our changing environment. Topics include: orbital dynamics and electromagnetic properties of the atmosphere and surface; atmospheric emission characteristics and scattering; chemical composition and spectroscopy; temperature retrievals; detection and retrieval of aerosol, cloud and rain; ocean surface properties; sea surface temperature and color; active sensing of wind stress, sea level, and internal waves; time-dependent gravity; properties of vegetation and ice.

AOSC 431 Atmospheric Thermodynamics (3) Prerequisite: 1 course with a minimum grade of C- from (PHYS171, PHYS161, MATH141). Recommended: MATH246. Credit only granted for: AOSC431 or METO431. Formerly: METO431. Classical thermodynamics applied to both the dry and the moist atmosphere. Composition; phase changes of water; stability concepts; Properties of aerosols and clouds, cloud nucleation and precipitation processes, atmospheric electricity, cloud and precipitation chemistry.

AOSC 432 Large Scale Atmospheric Dynamics (3) Prerequisite: AOSC431. Corequisite: MATH246. Credit only granted for: AOSC432, METO432, or AOSC632. Formerly: METO432. Equations of motion and their approximation, scale analysis for the atmosphere and the ocean. Conservation properties. Fluid motion in the atmosphere and oceans. Geostrophic/balanced and ageostrphic/unbalanced motion. Circulation, vorticity, and potential vorticity. Introduction to the boundary layer.

AOSC 433 Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate (3) Prerequisite: CHEM131, CHEM135, or CHEM146. And MATH241; or permission of CMNS-Atmospheric & Oceanic Science department. Also offered as: CHEM433. Credit only granted for: AOSC433, AOSC633, CHEM433, or CHEM633. Formerly: AOSC434. The effects of human activity on atmospheric composition, focused on global warming, the carbon cycle, air pollution, and the ozone layer. Fundamentals of atmosphereic chemistry (spectroscopy, kinetics, isotopic analysis, and biogeochemical cycles) are related to the modern understanding of climate change, air quality, and ozone depletion, based on resources such as satellite missions, field campaigns, and scientific assessments published by international agencies. We also examine how society's energy needs could be met, in the future, in a manner with less impact on atmospheric composition than the present heavy reliance on combusion of fossil fuels.

AOSC 434 Air Pollution (3) Prerequisite: MATH241; or permission of CMNS-Atmospheric & Oceanic Science department. Formerly: METO434. Production, transformation, transport and removal of air pollutants. The problems of photochemical smog, the greenhouse effect, stratospheric ozone, acid rain and visibility. Analytical techniques for gases and particles.

AOSC 436 Principles of Biogeochemistry (3) Prerequisite: MATH140 or MATH220; and (GEOL100 or GEOL120); and GEOL322. And CHEM131 and CHEM132; or (CHEM135 and CHEM136). Restriction: Non-degree-seeking students require the permission of the instructor. Also offered as: GEOL436. Credit only granted for: GEOL436 or AOSC436. An introduction to the basic principles of biogeochemistry including aspects of organic geochemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, global geochemical cycles, the origin of life and paleoenvironmental evolution.

AOSC 437 Global Climate Change: Past and Present (3) Prerequisite: MATH115 or MATH140; and (GEOL100 or GEOL120); and (CHEM131 or CHEM135); and (CHEM132 or CHEM136). Restriction: Non-degree seeking students require permission of the instructor. Also offered as: GEOL437. A highlight to the fact that global climate change is part of the Earth's past as well as of its present and future. Changes in climate that have occurred in the geologic past can be viewed as the Earth's natural climate variability. These changes are different from, though could be linked with, historical and present anthropogenically-induced climate change. We will discuss the modern climate system, the factors capable of forcing climate change on various time scales, the geologic proxies of past climate change and what these proxies tell us. Finally, we will compare and contrast past climate change with what is understood (and not understood) about modern climate change.

AOSC 458 Advanced Topics in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (1-4) Repeatable to 12 credits. Special topics in atmospheric and oceanic science are given intensive study. The topic of concentration varies, from semester to semester and depends on student and faculty interests. Often, specialists from other institutions are invited to the campus on a visiting lectureship basis to conduct the course.

AOSC 470 Synoptic Meteorology (3) Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in AOSC431 and AOSC432. Credit only granted for: AOSC470, AOSC600, or METO600. Atmospheric properties and observations, meteorological analysis and charts, operational numerical forecasts. Application of quasigeostrophic theory, baroclinic instability, midlatitiude and mesoscale weather systems. Tropical meteorology. Weather forecasting using numerical and statistical models. Prediction of weather phenomena on the global, syoptic, meso, and local scales. Analysis of surface and upper air data; Norwegian cyclone model; introduction to weather forecasting.

AOSC 493 Senior Research Project I (3) Prerequisite: Permission of CMNS-Atmospheric & Oceanic Science department. Restriction: Must be in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science program. Or must not be in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science program; and permission of instructor. Technical writing and oral presentation skills. Planning, writing, and presenting a plan for research in the geosciences.

AOSC 494 Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Seminar (1) Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in AOSC431 and AOSC432. Exposure to a wide range of contemporary topics in atmospheric, oceanic, and climate sciences, to foster research interests and promote critical thinking through the weekly AOSC departmental seminar series.

AOSC 498 Senior Research Project II (3) Prerequisite: AOSC493. The project will be based on the research or development plan created in AOSC493. It may be completed with the approval of a faculty advisor in conjunction with an internship. Final written thesis and oral defense will be expected.

AOSC 499 Special Problems in Atmospheric Science (1-3) Prerequisite: Permission of CMNS-Atmospheric & Oceanic Science department. Repeatable to 6 credits. Formerly: METO499. Research or special study in the field of meteorology and the atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

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