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Atmospheric Science (ATSC)

1000 Level | 2000 Level | 3000 Level | 4000 Level | 5000 Level

USP Codes are listed in brackets by the 1991 USP code followed by the 2003 USP code (i.e. [M2<>QB]).

2000. Introduction to Meteorology. 4. [S3<>SE] First course in meteorology for students with minimal background in math and science. Provides general and practical understanding of weather phenomena. Emphasizes observational aspects of the science, meteorological view of the physical world and the impact the science has on life and society. Includes three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Includes atmospheric composition and structure, radiation, winds and horizontal forces, stability and vertical motions, general circulation, synoptic meteorology, clouds and precipitation, severe storms and atmospheric optics.

2100. Atmospheric Change: Composition and Climate. 3. Introduces non-specialists to a broad overview of global, regional and local atmospheric impacts of mankind's activities and natural phenomena, and their consequences. Includes global warming and potential for climate change, atmospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, urban air pollution and problem alleviating mitigating strategies.

3032. Weather Analysis and Forecasting. 3. Students learn to access, display, and interpret meteorological data including surface, upper air, satellite, and radar data, and become familiar with NWP models and weather predictability. They gain a basic understanding of dynamic and physical meteorology through real-time applications, and are introduced to meteorological data display software applications. Prerequisites: MATH 2205 and PHYS 1310 or equivalent.

4001. Modeling the Earth System. 4. Takes a modeling approach to demonstrate how the Earth is integrated into an interconnected system through exchanges of energy and matter, and how Earth system functioning is susceptible to human alteration.  Unifying concepts focus on quantitative interactions between the Earth and the Sun, and between the Earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. Cross listed with BOT/GEOL 4001. Prerequisites:  MATH 2205 or equivalent and [ESS 2000 or GEOL 2000].

4007. Problems in Synoptic Meteorology. 1. Laboratory supplement to ATSC 5160. Analysis of weather systems using operational observations and numerical model output. Real-time weather briefings. Numerical simulation of select weather phenomena. Dual listed with ATSC 5007. Prerequisites: ATSC 4130, 5130; 4160, 5160 or concurrent enrollment and permission of instructor.

4008. Mesoscale Meteorology. 2. Fundamental Dynamics of mesoscale motions including departures from hydrostatic balance. Mesoscale energy sources. Boundary layer circulations. Convective initiation. Structure and dynamics of deep convection and mesoscale organized convection. Atmospheric waves. Orographically modified flow. Dual listed with ATSC 5008. Prerequisites: ATSC 4007, 4160, 5007, 5160 and permission of the instructor.

4010. Atmospheric Processes I. 3. Tools for understanding of physical processes occurring in the atmosphere are presented and integrated. Emphasis on ideal gas equation (for mixture), parcel concept, hydrostatics, mass conservation modeling, first law thermodynamics and radiation in the cloud-free atmosphere. Rudiments needed for problem solving are emphasized - integral and differential forms and dimensional analysis.  Prerequisites: PHYS 1320 and either MATH 2210 or MATH 2310.

4031. Atmospheric Dynamics. 3. Atmospheric statics, development and interpretation of Newton's Second Law of Motion as applied to the atmosphere, scales of motion, atmospheric motion types, thermal wind equation, circulation and vorticity, boundary layer motions, introduction to quasi-geostrophic theory. Prerequisites: MATH 2210, PHYS 1320, ATSC 4010.

4033. Atmospheric Remote Sensing. 3. Satellinte ground-based remote sending from UV to microwave including the principles of atmospheric radiative transfer, descriptions of important satellite orbits and sensors, the retrieval of atmospheric forecast and air quality monitor. Prerequisites: MATH 2210 or 2310, and PHYS 1310 and 1320 or equivalent.

4035. Atmospheric Processes II. 3. Starts with physical-meteorology concepts necessary for a first-time examination of cloud microphysics - aerosol physical properties, Mie and Rayleigh radiative transfer, moisture variables, conserved temperatures, saturation vapor pressure - finishes with water and ice nucleation, diffusional and collection hydrometeor growth, and radiative forcing by clouds. Prerequisites: ATSC 4010 and 4031.

4160. Synoptic Meteorology. 2. Structure and evolution of the extratropic cyclone, identification and development of fronts, jet streams and associated weather features; theories of cyclogenesis; role of topography. Climatology of formation and movement of a cyclone. Mesoscale circulation features; ingredients of severe weather. Dual listed with ATSC 5160.  Prerequisites: ATSC 4031, 5001, 5003, 5100, 5004 5031 and permission of instructor. 

4320. The Ocean Environment. 3. Focuses on the ocean as a system. Objective is the development of interdisciplinary understanding of marine processes, especially those processes occurring along coastal margins. Emphasis is on the development of quantitative models and their use in understanding anthropogenic impact on ocean resources. Dual listed with ATSC 5320. Prerequisites: MATH 2310, PHYS 1310, CHEM 1030, ES 3060 (or ES 3070), LIFE 1010, senior standing or higher.

4400. The Physical Basis of Climate. 3. Global atmospheric and oceanic circulations, radiation balance, water balance and hydrologic cycle, energy balance, energy and moisture transport, evaporation and evapotranspiration, energetic processes, and theories of climate change. Dual listed with ATSC 5400. Prerequisites: MATH 2200, PHYS 1310, and CHEM 1020.

4410 [4330]. Introduction to Micrometeorology. 3. Quantitative and descriptive study of processes effecting exchanges of energy, momentum, gases, and particles between the atmosphere and the bio/geosphere, including the effects of plant cover, land use changes, diurnal and seasonal cycles, turbulence, boundary layer structure, local weather, and climate. Instrumentation and techniques also discussed. Prerequisites: ATSC 4010 and LIFE 2023.

4650. Undergraduate Research in Atmospheric Science. 2-6 (max 9). Course Description and Prerequisites: Independent research in atmospheric science under supervision of an atmospheric science faculty member. Projects are possible in the fields of cloud and aerosol physics, radar meteorology, mesoscale dynamics, and stratospheric chemistry. Participation in field work, involving the UW aviation or stratospheric ballooning facilities, is a possibility. Research results are summarized in a report. Prerequisites: ATSC 4000 and 4100, plus consent from advising faculty.

4900. Problems in Atmospheric Science. 1-3 (Max. 10). Independent study of a particular problem or phrase of atmospheric science, or presentation of reviews and discussion of current advances in atmospheric science investigations. Prerequisites: ATSC 4010, 4031, and 4035.

5001. Atmospheric Energetics. 2. First and second laws of thermodynamics applied to energy transformations in the atmosphere. Investigated are: air saturating processes, conserved temperatures, dry air entrainment into clouds, and first and second law applications in atmospheric models. Prerequisites: MATH 2210, PHYS 1310 and 1320 (or equivalent).

5002. Atmospheric Radiation I. 3. Covers the principles of atmospheric radiative transfer. Conceptual and theoretical frameworks are provided for the understanding of radiative measurement systems (e.g., satellite, lidar and radar), blackbody radiation, the planetary radiative budget, and the propagation of both longwave and shortwave radiation. Prerequisites: MATH 2210, PHYS 1310 and 1320 (or equivalent).

5003. Problems in Energetics and Radiation. 1. Proficiency in the use of tools for assimilation, analysis and presentation of quantitative information is fostered. Also considers solutions to problems developed theoretically in ATSC 5001 and 5002. These consist of solution to thermodynamic and radiative transfer governing equations. Prerequisites: ATSC 5001 and 5002, or concurrent enrollment in each.

5004. Problems in Dynamic Meteorology I. 1. Focuses on computational solutions to problems developed theoretically in ATSC 5100. In addition, students gain proficiency in interpretation and analysis of weather data, including surface and upper level maps, and sounding data, which will be used to understand static stability. Data visualization software is also introduced and used to develop understanding of dynamical processes. Prerequisite: ATSC 5100 or concurrent enrollment in ATSC 5100.

5005. Microphysics. 2. Microphysical observations of clouds and precipitation are first briefly surveyed. Thermodynamic equilibria in multiphase microphysical systems are then examined, as are homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation, and diffusional and collisional processes leading to time-dependent changes in hydrometeor size. Embedded in these discussions are elementary considerations of single particle mechanics and hydrodynamics. Prerequisites: ATSC 5001, 5002 and 5003.

5006. Problems in Microphysics. 1. Atmospheric processes altering the hydrometeor size distribution are examined using computer algorithms developed by the student. Condensational and collisional growth processes, in warm and cold clouds, are examined. Data from hydrometer size spectrometers are used to initialize the problems. Prerequisite: ATSC 5005 or concurrent enrollment.

5007. Problems in Synoptic Meteorology. 1. Laboratory supplement to ATSC 5160. Analysis of weather systems using operational observations and numerical model output. Real-time weather briefings. Numerical simulation of select weather phenomena. Prerequisite: ATSC 4130, 5130; 4160, 5160 or concurrent enrollment and permission of instructor.

5008. Mesoscale Meteorology. 2. Fundamental Dynamics of mesoscale motions including departures from hydrostatic balance. Mesoscale energy sources. Boundary layer circulations. Convective initiation. Structure and dynamics of deep convection and mesoscale organized convection. Atmospheric waves. Orographically modified flow. Dual listed with ATSC 4008. Prerequisites: ATSC 4007, 4160, 5007, 5160 and permission of the instructor.

5020. Physical Meteorology II Lab. 1. Laboratory course concerned with physical processes in the atmosphere. Approximately eight experiments are conducted examining phenomena related to atmospheric radiation, gas expansions, phase transitions, and nucleation. Prerequisites: ATSC 5005, ATSC 5006 or concurrent enrollment.

5100. Atmospheric Dynamics I. 3. Development and interpretation of the atmospheric equations of motion, scales of motion, horizontal atmospheric winds, thermal wind equation, circulation and vorticity. Introduction to planetary boundary layer flows. Prerequisite: MATH 2210, PHYS 1310 and 1320 (or equivalent).

5160. Synoptic Meteorology. 2. Structure and evolution of the extratropic cyclone, identification and development of fronts, jet streams and associated weather features; theories of cyclogenesis; role of topography. Climatology of formation and movement of a cyclone. Mesoscale circulation features; ingredients of severe weather. Dual listed with ATSC 4160.  Prerequisites: ATSC 4031, 5001, 5003, 5100, 5004 5031 and permission of instructor.

5210. Cloud and Precipitation Systems. 3. Types of clouds and precipitation systems, and the precipitation mechanisms in those systems; structure of convective, orographic, and frontal systems and severe storms. Schematic and numerical models of clouds and storms with emphasis on hailstorms. Prerequisite: ATSC 5005 and 5100.

5310. Atmospheric Dynamics II. 3. Introduction to the dynamic energetics of the atmosphere, wave motions, atmospheric instabilities. Introduction to numerical modeling, applications. Prerequisite: ATSC 5100.

5320. The Ocean Environment. 3. Focuses on the ocean as a system. Objective is the development of interdisciplinary understanding of marine processes, especially those processes occurring along coastal margins. Emphasis is on the development of quantitative models and their use in understanding anthropogenic impact on ocean resources. Dual listed with ATSC 4320. Prerequisite: MATH 2310, PHYS 1310, CHEM 1030, ES 3060 (or ES 3070), LIFE 1010, senior standing or higher.

5330. Boundary Layer Meteorology. 3. A quantitative and descriptive study of the thermodynamics and dynamics of the planetary boundary layer, including budgets (heat, moisture, momentum, turbulent kinetic energy, radiation), stability, turbulence and turbulent fluxes, convection, terrain effects, phenomenology, and measurement and analysis techniques. Prerequisite: ATSC 5001, 5100.

5340. Radar Meteorology. 3. The theory of radar and the application of radars to studies of the atmosphere, including basic radar design, distributed targets, attenuation, polarization, Doppler velocities, analysis techniques, and examples of radar studies of clear air, clouds, and precipitation. Prerequisite: ATSC 5002 and 5005.

5350. Atmospheric Chemistry. 3. Origin and composition of the atmosphere. Sources, lifetimes, transport of gases and aerosols. Cycles of C, S, N and trace elements. Removal processes: precipitation, and dry deposition. Homogenous and Heterogeneous kinetics. Anthropogenic influences: effect of air pollution on radiation balance and cloud processes. Prerequisite: graduate standing in a physical science or engineering.

5370. Meteorological Instrumentation. 3. Physical principles of instruments, their response characteristics and their proper use. Error analysis and interpretation of data. Classical instruments. Introduction to modern methods and instrumentation. Remote sensing, such as by radar and lidar. Instrument systems, such as on aircraft, and remote platforms, such as satellites and buoys. Laboratory experience with a large variety of instruments will be part of the course. Prerequisite: graduate standing in a physical science or engineering.

5400. The Physical Basis of Climate. 3. Global atmospheric and oceanic circulations, radiation balance, water balance and hydrologic cycle, energy balance, energy and moisture transport, evaporation and evapotranspiration, energetic processes, and theories of climate change. Dual listed with ATSC 4400. Prerequisite: MATH 2200, PHYS 1310, and CHEM 1020.

5500. Atmospheric Radiation and Optics. 3. Overview of atmospheric radiation, basic definitions, and basic laws of radiation. Nature of solar and terrestrial radiation, and atmospheric transmission. Derivation and analytic solutions to the equation of radiative transfer. Radiative transfer models at solar and terrestrial wavelengths, net radiation, and effects of polarization. Radiative properties of molecules, aerosols, and clouds (Rayleigh and Mie scattering). Inadvertent climate modification. Atmospheric refraction, diffraction and polarization phenomenon. Prerequisite: ATSC 5002.

5600. Advanced Cloud Micophysics. 3. Analysis of the processes involved in cloud and precipitation formation. Detailed treatments of the condensation, ice nucleation, vapor growth, and collection processes. Emphasis is on reviewing the current state of knowledge in the field and on surveying directions of research. Prerequisite: ATSC 5005.

5880. Atmospheric Science Problems. 1-3 (Max. 6). A special course for graduate students in atmospheric science only, designed to make possible the study and investigation of problems or phases of atmospheric science selected to fit the needs of students.

5890. Atmospheric Science Seminar. 1-3 (Max. 6). A seminar-type class furnishing motivation for advanced study of current problems by means of library research, study of current literature, and carefully guided class discussions. Prerequisite: consent of department head.

5900. Practicum in College Teaching. 1-3 (Max. 3). Work in classroom with a major professor. Expected to give some lectures and gain classroom experience. Prerequisite: graduate status.

5920. Continuing Registration: On Campus. 1-2 (Max. 16). Prerequisite: advanced degree candidacy.

5940. Continuing Registration: Off Campus. 1-2 (Max. 16). Prerequisite: advanced degree candidacy.

5959. Enrichment Studies. 1-3 (Max. 99). Designed to provide an enrichment experience in a variety of topics. Note: credit in this course may not be included in a graduate program of study for degree purposes.

5960. Thesis Research. 1-12. (Max. 24). Designed for students who are involved in research for their thesis project. Also used for students whose coursework is complete and are writing their thesis. Prerequisites: enrolled in a graduate degree program.

5980. Dissertation Research. 1-12 (Max. 48). Graduate level course designed for students who are involved in research for their dissertation project. Also used for students whose coursework is complete and are writing their dissertation. Prerequisite: enrolled in a graduate level degree program.

5990. Internship. 1-12 (Max. 24). Prerequisite: graduate standing.

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