Course descriptions index


Atmospheric Science


ATM F101X Weather and Climate of Alaska (n)

4 Credits     Offered Spring

Focus on the Alaska atmosphere as an important part of our environment. Includes fundamental laws of physics and chemistry, the behavior of atmospheres on rotating planets, clouds, precipitation and weather systems. Includes societal impacts of weather worldwide and investigations into global climate change. Prerequisites: Placement in ENGL F111X or higher; placement in DEVM F105 or higher; or permission of instructor. (3+3)


ATM F401 Introduction to Atmospheric Science

3 Credits     Offered Fall

Fundamentals of atmospheric science. Includes energy and mass conservation, internal energy and entropy, atmospheric water vapor, cloud microphysics, equations of motion, hydrostatics, phase oxidation, heterogeneous chemistry, the ozone layer, fundamentals of biogeochemical cycles, solar and terrestrial radiation and radiative-convective equilibrium. Also includes molecular, cloud and aerosol absorption and scattering. Prerequisites: CHEM F105X; CHEM F106X; MATH F302; PHYS F212X. (Stacked with ATM F601; CHEM F601.) (3+0)


ATM F413 Atmospheric Radiation

3 Credits     Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

Atmospheric radiation including the fundamentals of blackbody radiation theory and radiative properties of atmospheric constituents. Discussion of gaseous absorption including line absorption, broadening effects and radiative transfer. Includes scattering, radiative properties of clouds and radiation climatology. Prerequisites/Co-requisites: ATM F401. (Stacked with ATM F613.) (3+0)


ATM F444 Synoptic Analysis and Forecasting

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years.

Weather systems and the techniques used to understand and predict their behavior. Topics include atmospheric observations, synoptic analysis techniques, satellite image interpretation, kinematics, fronts and frontogenesis, life cycles of extratropical cyclones, mesoscale phenomena, numerical weather prediction and interpretation of forecast products. Prerequisites: ATM F401 and ATM F445. (Stacked with ATM F644.) (3+0)


ATM F445 Atmospheric Dynamics

3 Credits     Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

Fundamentals of equations of motion, conservation laws, balance relationships and coordinate systems. Vorticity dynamics includes vortex filaments and tubes, vorticity equations, Rossby-Haurwitz waves, Ertel's PV principle for the potential vorticity, EPV in isentropic coordinates. Includes balance and quasi-geostrophy, QG theory, scaling of the QG system, the w equation, QG and numerical modeling. Prerequisites/co-requisites: ATM F401. (Stacked with ATM F645.) (3+0)


ATM F456 Climate and Climate Change

3 Credits

The climate of planet Earth and its changes with time. Radiative fluxes, greenhouse effects, energy budget, hydrological cycle, the atmospheric composition and climatic zones. Physical and chemical reasons for climatic change. Prerequisites: Any 400 level Physics or Chemistry course or ATM F401 or permission of instructor; basic computer skills. (3+0)


ATM F488 Undergraduate Research

1 - 3 Credits

Advanced research topics from outside the usual undergraduate requirements. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Recommended: A substantial level of technical/scientific background. (0+0)


ATM F601 Introduction to Atmospheric Science

3 Credits     Offered Fall

Fundamentals of atmospheric science. Includes energy and mass conservation, internal energy and entropy, atmospheric water vapor, cloud microphysics, equations of motion, hydrostatics, phase oxidation, heterogeneous chemistry, the ozone layer, fundamentals of biogeochemical cycles, solar and terrestrial radiation and radiative-convective equilibrium. Also includes molecular, cloud and aerosol absorption and scattering. Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (Cross-listed with CHEM F601. Stacked with ATM F401.) (3+0)


ATM F606 Atmospheric Chemistry

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Chemistry of the lower atmosphere (troposphere and stratosphere) including photo chemistry, kinetics, thermodynamics, box modeling, biogeochemical cycles and measurements techniques for atmospheric pollutants. Study of important impacts to the atmosphere which result from anthropogenic emissions of pollutants, including acid rain, the "greenhouse" effect, urban smog and stratospheric ozone depletion. Prerequisites/co-requisites: ATM F601 or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with CHEM F606. Stacked with CHEM F406.) (3+0)


ATM F613 Atmospheric Radiation

3 Credits     Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

Fundamentals of blackbody radiation theory and radiative properties of atmospheric constituents. Discussion of gaseous absorption including line absorption, broadening effects and radiative transfer. Includes scattering, radiative properties of clouds, and radiation climatology. Prerequisites/co-requisites: ATM F601 and graduate standing. (Stacked with ATM F413.) (3+0)


ATM F615 Cloud Physics

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Basic properties of condensed water vapor in the atmosphere. Formation and behavior of clouds including the nature of atmospheric aerosols, nucleation and growth of water droplets and ice crystals, the development of precipitation, nature of mixed-phase (water and ice) clouds, how transfer of radiation depends on the character of clouds, and how humans are modifying clouds and precipitation both intentionally and unintentionally. Field trips will collect data at the Arctic Facility for Atmospheric Remote Sensing (AFARS). Microscopic examination and have available for use of a sophisticated cloud model. Prerequisites: ATM F601; graduate standing; or permission of instructor. (3+0)


ATM F620 Climate Journal Club Seminar

1 Credit     Offered Spring

The "Climate Group" is in informal meeting for researchers and graduate students. The seminars alternate between progress reports on ongoing research and journal club contributions. The main interests articles, formal and informal presentation by locals and visitors will be on the agenda. Participating students will be exposed to a free format discussion of modern ideas in climate related disciplines. All students are encouraged to contribute and students taking the course for credit are required to lead the discussion for one session. This may include the presentation of a research plan/results, or a discussion of a journal article. Students will be graded on at least one presentation and participation in the class. Graded Pass/Fail. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. (1+0)


ATM F624 Oceanic-Atmospheric Gravity Waves

3 Credits     Offered Spring; As Demands Warrants

An introduction to the dynamics of surface and internal gravity waves in non-rotating and rotating fluids including, derivation/solutions of the wave equation, approximations to the governing equations, particle motions and wave energetics, dispersion relationships, phase and group velocities, normal mode and WKB theory, refraction, reflection, critical layer absorption, wave instabilities. Prerequisites: MSL F620; MATH F302; or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with MSL F624.) (3+0)


ATM F631 Environmental Fate and Transport

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Examination of the physical properties that govern the behavior, fate and transport of contaminants released into the environment. Topics include air-water partitioning and exchange, organic solvent-water partitioning, diffusion, sorption, chemical and biological transformation reactions, and modeling concepts. (Cross-listed with CHEM F631.) (3+0)


ATM F644 Synoptic Analysis and Forecasting

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Weather systems and the techniques used to understand and predict their behavior. Topics include atmospheric observations, synoptic analysis techniques, satellite image interpretation, kinematics, fronts and frontogenesis, life cycles of extratropical cyclones, mesoscale phenomena, numerical weather prediction and interpretation of forecast products. Prerequisites: ATM F601 and ATM F645. (Stacked with ATM F444.) (3+0)


ATM F645 Atmospheric Dynamics

3 Credits     Offered Fall Even-numbered Years

Examination of the fundamental forces and basic conservation laws that govern the motion of the atmosphere. Topics include momentum, continuity equations, circulation, vorticity, thermodynamics, the planetary boundary layer and synoptic scale motions in mid-latitudes. Prerequisites/co-requisites: ATM F601; graduate standing. (Stacked with ATM F445.) (3+0)


ATM F646 Atmospheric Dynamics II

3 Credits     Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

Continuation of ATM F645. Includes geophysical fluid dynamics as applied to the atmosphere. Topics include linear perturbation theory, gravity waves, Rossby waves, numerical weather prediction, baroclinic instability, frontogenesis, general circulation, stratospheric and tropical dynamics. Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3+0)


ATM F656 Climate and Climate Change

3 Credits     Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

The climate of planet Earth and its changes with time. Radiative fluxes, greenhouse effects, energy budget, hydrological cycle, the atmospheric composition and climatic zones. Physical and chemical reasons for climatic change. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; calculus, physics or related courses at F400-level, basic computer skills. Recommended: ATM F601; ATM F401; basic knowledge of Fortran and Unix/Linux. (3+0)


ATM F662 Numerical Modeling and Parameterization Methods

3 Credits     Offered Spring Even-numbered Years

Construction of models from fundamental equations and the necessity of parametrizations. Simplification and discretization of equations, numerical methods, model-grids, analytical modeling, boundary and initial conditions, parametrizations and evaluation of model results. Scale-dependency, limitations of parametrizations and coupled modeling are elucidated. Students apply and code aspects of models themselves. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; calculus, physics or related F400-level basic computer skills. Recommended: ATM F601; basic knowledge in Fortran and Unix/Linux. (3+0)


ATM F688 Atmospheric Science Informal Seminar

1 Credit     Offered Spring

Review of ongoing research in atmospheric science to learn about research results, ideas and direction long before they are published in journals. Presentations cover the broad range of atmospheric sciences and links to other disciplines as required to answer questions on global variability, climate change and assessment studies. Graded Pass/Fail. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in physical sciences or permission of instructor. (1+0)


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