Geography 3

WELCOME TO WEATHER AND CLIMATE - GEOGRAPHY 3
INTRODUCTION TO ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Santa Monica College Spring 2014
Instructor: William A. Selby  Section: 2266
MW 12:45 - 2:05 p.m. HSS 251
wselby@smc.edu

General Goals and Requirements

  • Text: "Meteorology Today: An Introduction to Weather, Climate and the Environment." Author: C. Donald Ahrens. 10th Edition, Brooks/Cole 2013 (the previous edition should be ok if you find it used).
    In Class:
    All class lectures and activities should augment and clarify more important concepts in the text. Each class session should also provide the student with important knowledge and skills (such as weather observation and prediction) far beyond the scope of the text. For success: ALWAYS attend class regularly, participate, ask questions, complete all assignments, keep ahead!
  • Approach: Emphasis in this class is on learning about the weather and applying what we learn so that you can use this knowledge every day of your life. Therefore, you will learn about and use a wide range of topics in meteorology and climatology to understand how our atmosphere works (see class schedule below).  
  • Field Trips: I encourage all of you to attend our optional field trips this semester. They include our full weekend trip to the Wind Wolves Preserve on May 9-11 and a local one-day trip on Saturday, April 5 to places such as the Santa Monica Mountains. We will study coastal, mountain, desert and human landscapes and the forces and processes that are shaping them, including natural and human history. To get details, click Geog 35 on my home page.
  • Contact Info/Office Hours: Feel free to talk with me when you need help or get confused. I will be available before and especially before most class meetings or you can make an appointment to see me. My office is in Drescher Hall (Tech) 314K, (310) 434-4743, wselby@smc.edu Office hours: MW 2:15-3:30, T 12:45-2pm and 5:15-6:15.
  • Web Page: http://homepage.smc.edu/selby_william/
  • Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
    What can students do, think, or know as a result of their studies in this class?
    Students will have a basic understanding of the origin, composition, extent, and dynamics of our atmosphere. Students will gain the basic knowledge and skills required to understand and predict local weather. Students will understand Earth’s various climates and how they are changing.
    What can students do, think, or know as a result of their studies within our more general geography program? Students will be able to identify spatial patterns and interrelationships between systems and cycles that affect life and shape landscapes. Students will demonstrate cartographic literacy, including map interpretation and, using spatial analysis skills, will be able to analyze, recognize and evaluate spatial distributions on all scales from local to global  to become better global citizens.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Make sure you are confident of what to do during an emergency in our classroom. Visit this site to make sure you are prepared for any emergency in our class or on campus: http://www.smc.edu/StudentServices/EmergencyPreparedness/Pages/Emergency-Preparedness.aspx 

Let me help you learn!

Grading Policy

  • Exams: You are required to take four exams, including the final. Each exam will account for about 25% (100+ pts.) of your grade. The exam is designed as an instructional device so that you may demonstrate your knowledge of the concepts. Each exam and your final will be scored objectively by points and will include many different questions, from multiple choice to essay. YOU MUST NEVER MISS AN EXAM. Dates are on the class schedule which follows. Your final grade will consist of slightly more than 400+ possible points, including any additional take-home papers, quizzes, and participation that may also be evaluated.
  • Extra Credit/Independent Research: If you want to extend your learning experience beyond the scope of this class, read and study a current article about meteorology in a book or professional/scientific publication (no older than 2013). Type a one page summary/abstract of that article, attach it to the copy you made of the article, and hand it to me. You will find good articles on line in our library and in the UCLA Research Library. You may earn a maximum of 7 points for each extra credit and you may hand in only one during each calendar month for a maximum total of 4 for the semester. Another method to earn considerable extra credit is to complete a service learning option and write a summary of your learning experience, which we will discuss in class. Last day to hand in the one last extra credit: June 2.

Important Responsibilities

  • Adds/Drops: YOU are responsible for making changes in your schedule.
  • Academic Honesty: Honest students are protected in this class. Any student who cheats in any way will earn a zero and is subject to serious disciplinary action. If you need definitions, explanations, or other details about this policy, see me and consult the SMC Academic Code of Conduct!
  • Classroom Conduct: All SMC rules of conduct apply in our class. No food or drink is allowed. No cell phones or any other electronic devices are to be used without instructor's consent. 

Keys to Success

  • It is assumed that you have what is required for success in college, including basic reading and writing skills.
  • Attend class regularly and on time. Stay alert, participate in class and take good notes.
  • Ask questions when you are confused or uncertain or just curious.
  • Keep up with all reading and the questions at the end of chapters.

GENERAL COURSE SCHEDULE MW 12:45-2:05
(WE MAY BE RUNNING BEHIND, BUT EXAM DATES  DO NOT CHANGE)
 

February

  • 19: Chap. 1 Introduction
  • 24: Chap 1 - continued. Overview of Earth's Atmosphere
  • 26: Chap. 2: Energy: Warming the Earth and the Atmosphere

March 

  • 3: Chap. 3: Seasonal and Daily Temperatures
  • 5: Chap. 19: Light, Color, and Atmospheric Optics
  • 10: Chap. 4: Atmospheric Moisture - Humidity
  • 12: Chap. 4: Atmospheric Moisture - continued
  • 17: EXAM NO. 1 - ALL CLASS AND READINGS SINCE FEB 19.
  • 19: Chap. 5: Condensation: Dew, Fog, and Clouds
  • 24: Chap. 6: Stability and Cloud Development
  • 26: Chap. 6: Stability and Cloud Development continued
  • 31: Chap. 7: Precipitation

April

  • 2: Chap. 8: Air Pressure and Wind
  • 7: Chap. 8: Charts, Forces, and Winds continued
  • 9: EXAM NO. 2 - ALL MATERIAL SINCE MARCH 17.
  • 14-18: SPRING BREAK - NO CLASS
  • 21: Chap. 9 Small-Scale and Local Winds
  • 23: Chap. 10 Global Winds
  • 28: Chap. 11 Air Masses and Fronts
  • 30: Chap. 12 Middle Latitude Cyclones

May

  • 5: Chap. 14 Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
  • 7: Chap 15 Hurricanes
  • 12: EXAM NO. 3 - ALL MATERIAL SINCE APRIL 9.  
  • 14 & 19: Chap. 13 Weather Forecasting, Local Weather
  • 21: Chap. 17 Global Climates
  • 26: NO CLASS: Memorial Day
  • 28: Chapter 17 and Global Climates continued

June

  • 2: Chap. 16 Climate Change
  • 4: Chap. 16, 18 More Climate Change, Air Pollution
  • 9: Chap 18  More Air Pollution, Current Events, Course Summary
  • 11: Wednesday 12NOON: FINAL EXAM - EXAM NO. 4 (12noon)