Course Descriptions and Recent Syllabi

ATMS 103 Introduction to Meteorology (3 hrs)

An informative study of the fundamentals of weather and current issues related to global weather and climate. Designed for the general student, this course satisfies the three-hour interdisciplinary natural sciences general education requirement. Atmospheric science majors may substitute ATMS 113 for ATMS 103. (Students may not receive credit for both ATMS 103 and 113.) Fall and Spring.

Godfrey Syllabus Hennon Syllabus Huang Syllabus Miller Syllabus

ATMS 111 Understanding the Atmosphere Lab (1 hr)

Introduction to meteorology lab. A significant portion of the laboratory sessions will be spent outside observing weather elements. Corequisite: ATMS 113. Fall.

ATMS 113 Understanding the Atmosphere (3 hrs)

An introduction to meteorology and climatology. This course will focus on the basics of understanding the weather, including how weather observations are made and used. Atmospheric science majors may substitute ATMS 113 for ATMS 103. (Students may not receive credit for both ATMS 103 and 113.) Fall.

ATMS 178 Liberal Arts Colloquium (3 hrs)

This introductory colloquium is designed for freshmen and first year students with fewer than 25 earned credit hours and satisfies a requirement of the Liberal Arts Core. The course title and topic depends on the instructor. Titles have included Global Climate Change and China (Huang) and Society, Technology, and Weather (Miller).

ATMS 205 Weather Analysis (1 hr)

Basic plotting of various weather codes, fundamentals of map analysis, basic techniques of weather forecasting. Prerequisite: ATMS 103, 113, or permission of instructor. Fall.

ATMS 223 Physical Climatology (3 hrs)

Causes of spatial and temporal climate variation, with special emphasis on energy and water balance regions of the earth and its atmosphere. Consequences of anthropogenic climate change will be explored. Even years fall.

ATMS 230 Fortran for Meteorologists (3 hrs)

Basic Fortran 90 computer programming tailored for meteorological applications. Topics include algorithm development, program writing and execution, and data manipulation. Prerequisite: MATH 167 or equivalent. Spring.

ATMS 241 Geography in Meteorology (1 hr)

An introductory lab course to study maps, physical geography and climate. Co-requisites: ATMS 103 or 113. Spring.

ATMS 251 Mathematics in Meteorology (1 hr)

An introductory lab course to study fundamental meteorological equations and applications of mathematics in meteorology. Prerequisites: ATMS 103 or 113; MATH 191. Spring.

ATMS 261 Computer Applications in Meteorology (1 hr)

An introductory lab course to familiarize students with computer applications and meteorological software packages, such as McIDAS and GEMPAK. Prerequisites: ATMS 103 or 113; MATH 191. Spring.

ATMS 273 Diverse Climates in a Diverse World (3 hrs)

A course to study climate change, the impact of climate change to the countries in the world, and the strategies and actions taken by diverse countries to deal with climate change. The emphasis will also be on the dire consequences of climate change to the ethnic minority groups around the world. Additionally, the students will learn geography, political and economic status of the countries, and presentation skills. This course satisfies the UNCA LAC Diversity Intensive (DI) course requirement.

ATMS 305 Atmospheric Thermodynamics and Statics (3 hrs)

A study of the gaseous composition of the earth's atmosphere, its modification by radiative processes, and the application of the gas laws to atmospheric statics. Prerequisites: ATMS 251, 261; PHYS 221. Co-requisite: MATH 192. Fall.

ATMS 310 Atmospheric Kinematics and Dynamics (3 hrs)

The study of motions in the earth's atmosphere in relation to the forces acting upon the fluid. Equations of motion, circulation, vorticity, divergence, viscosity, turbulence, and atmospheric energy are explained. Prerequisite: ATMS 305; pre- or corequisite: MATH 291. Spring.

ATMS 315 Radar and Satellite Meteorology (3 hrs)

Theory and application of radar and satellite remote sensing to atmospheric sciences. Weather analysis, forecasting, and climatological implications are approached. Prerequisites: ATMS 251, 261; PHYS 222. See department chair.

ATMS 316 Mesoscale Meteorology (3 hrs)

Study of atmospheric processes in the scale of 10 to 1000 km including tornadoes, thunderstorms and tropical cyclones; application of current data to mesoscale analysis and forecasting. Prerequisite: ATMS 251 and 261. See department chair.

ATMS 320 Meteorological Instruments (3 hrs)

The history, operation, and use of instruments that monitor the atmosphere, with emphasis on practical applications. Prerequisites: ATMS 103 or 113; or equivalent training. See department chair.

ATMS 325 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Meteorology (3 hrs)

Introduces students to the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and demonstrates its applications to meteorology, climatology, and hydrology. Through a series of lectures and computer lab exercises, students will gain an understanding of basic GIS theory, principles, software, and data formats. They will learn how GIS is being utilized in the Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorological communities. Prerequisite: ATMS 205 or permission of instructor. See department chair.

ATMS 328 Broadcast Meteorology (3 hrs)

Introduction to weather basics, newswriting, reporting, and preparation and presentation of weathercasts. Students will acquire communication and presentation skills and on-camera weather broadcasting experience. Prerequisite: ATMS 205 or permission of instructor. See department chair.

ATMS 345 Tropical Meteorology (3 hrs)

An introduction to tropical climatology, tropical cyclones, observation techniques, tropical waves, ENSO, and connections between the tropics and mid-latitudes. Corequisite: ATMS 305; or permission of instructor. Even years Fall.

ATMS 350 Weather Forecasting (3 hrs)

Study of the science and techniques of weather forecasting, applications of map analysis and numerical guidance. Prerequisite: ATMS 205. Spring.

ATMS 355 Physical Oceanography (3 hrs)

An examination of the world's oceans from a physical perspective, with a particular focus on how oceans interact with the atmosphere. Topics include ocean structure, observation techniques, energy budget, surface and deep water currents, Ekman theory, coastal processes and tides, wave theory, and numerical modeling. Prerequisites: MATH 167; one course from ATMS 103 or 113 or ENVR 130. Odd years Fall.

ATMS 373 Advanced Computing Techniques in Meteorology (3 hrs)

Information technology skills in a Linux environment with emphasis on atmospheric science applications. HTML, Python, GrADS, CGI scripting, LaTeX, Google maps, graphics, data manipulation. Prerequisites: ATMS 103 or 113; ATMS 230 or CSCI 181; or permission of instructor. See department chair.

ATMS 373 Severe Weather Field Experience (3 hrs)

Participants travel to the Great Plains to forecast and observe severe weather. Operations are based in Norman, Oklahoma, in the heart of tornado alley and close to the location of the climatological maximum in tornado frequency during mid-May. Norman is the home of the National Weather Center, which houses twenty NOAA and University of Oklahoma weather and climate programs including the Storm Prediction Center, the National Severe Storms Laboratory, and a National Weather Service forecast office. Participants receive tours of these and many other facilities, including television studios and private companies, and hear prominent speakers discuss important aspects of severe weather forecasting, graduate school applications, and internship opportunities. Prerequisite: ATMS 103 and application. Summer.

ATMS 381–383 Cooperative Education (1-3 hrs)

Majors with at least sophomore status may apply for part-time positions at firms dealing with meteorology. Prerequisite: permission of department chair. May be repeated for a total of six hours of credit. Fall and Spring.

Guidance for enrollment in the cooperative education (ATMS 381–383) and professional and technical internship (ATMS 490) courses:

  • If total working hours is 84 or less, sign up for ATMS 381 (1 credit hour)
  • If total working hours is greater than 84, but less than or equal to 140, sign up for ATMS 382 (2 credit hours)
  • If total working hours is greater than 140, but less than or equal to 280, sign up for ATMS 383 (3 credit hours)
  • If total working hours is greater than 280, sign up for ATMS 490 (6 credit hours)
Evaluation Form for Supervisor
Final Report Form for Students

ATMS 405 Meteorological Statistics (3 hrs)

Statistical methods used in climatology, operational weather forecasting, and meteorological research applications. Topics include statistical characteristics of meteorological data, particularly probability distributions and correlation structures, hypothesis testing, forecast evaluation techniques, and other research topics. Prerequisites: ATMS 251, 261; MATH 291. See department chair.

ATMS 410 Synoptic Meteorology I (3 hrs)

A synthesis of the mathematical and analytical aspects of meteorology designed to explain fundamental weather processes and systems; practical application of the diagnostic and predictive equations through the use of weather maps; topics include upper-level systems and jet streams, and surface pressure systems. Presentations in this course will prepare students for demonstrating oral competency in the senior comprehensive examination. Co-requisite: ATMS 305. Fall.

ATMS 411 Synoptic Meteorology II (3 hrs)

A continuation of ATMS 410, topics include frontal systems, mid-latitude convective systems, tropical meteorology, numerical weather prediction and oral competency. Prerequisite: ATMS 410; Co-requisite: ATMS 310. Spring.

ATMS 420 Applied Climatology (3 hrs)

Application of climatological and statistical principles to weather-sensitive fields such as agriculture, construction, transportation and energy conservation. Prerequisite: ATMS 405. See department chair.

ATMS 455 Physical Meteorology (3 hrs)

Study of the physical processes of condensation, radiation, and radiative transfer, atmospheric sound and light propagation, atmospheric electrical phenomena and principles of weather modification. Prerequisite: ATMS 305. Spring.

ATMS 464 Scientific Writing (3 hrs)

Writing and research strategies, particularly for meteorological applications. Topics include literature reviews, critical reading, improving writing practices, various types of scientific writings, and presentation skills. Prerequisites: ATMS 103 or 113, and junior or senior standing. Fall.

ATMS 490 Professional and Technical Internship (6 hrs)

Majors with a GPA of 3.0 or better within the major and at least junior status may apply for a semester-long internship with a participating host agency. May not take ATMS 381, 382, or 383 and ATMS 490 concurrently. May not take more than 3 hours ATMS 381, 382, or 383 in addition to ATMS 490. Prerequisite: permission of department chair. Fall and Spring.

Guidance for enrollment in the cooperative education (ATMS 381–383) and professional and technical internship (ATMS 490) courses:
  • If total working hours is 84 or less, sign up for ATMS 381 (1 credit hour)
  • If total working hours is greater than 84, but less than or equal to 140, sign up for ATMS 382 (2 credit hours)
  • If total working hours is greater than 140, but less than or equal to 280, sign up for ATMS 383 (3 credit hours)
  • If total working hours is greater than 280, sign up for ATMS 490 (6 credit hours)
Evaluation Form for Supervisor
Final Report Form for Students

ATMS 499 Atmospheric Sciences Research (1-6 hrs)

Independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor. An IP grade may be awarded at discretion of instructor. May be repeated for a total of 6 hours credit. Fall and Spring.

Godfrey Syllabus Hennon Syllabus Huang Syllabus Miller Syllabus

ATMS 171-3, 271-3, 371-3, 471-3 Special Topics in ATMS (1-3 hrs)

Courses not otherwise included in the catalog listing but for which there may be special needs. May be repeated as often as permitted and as subject matter changes. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. See department chair.


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