Student Learning Outcomes

The existence of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences (ATMS) at UNC Asheville is a response, in part, to the need for an educated workforce at various area offices associated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The ATMS curriculum is designed primarily to qualify our students for federal employment as meteorologists as specified by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes some of the general skills required of atmospheric scientists beyond the federal employment curriculum requirements.

Graduates of the ATMS Department should possess the following:

  1. accurate scientifically-based conceptual models of atmospheric structure and evolution on multiple spatial and temporal scales,

  2. an understanding of mathematical devices applied to governing laws that determine the evolution of atmospheric structures,

  3. an ability to communicate these conceptual models orally and through writing to a variety of audiences ranging from the layperson to experts in the atmospheric sciences,

  4. an ability to make a significant contribution to a team-based research effort,

  5. the necessary problem-solving skills to address new and interesting challenges presented by atmospheric structures to a smoothly-functioning society,

  6. a curiosity about the natural world that motivates the student to continue their learning in graduate school and beyond the years immersed in formal education, and

  7. an ability to recognize disagreements among scientists — being able to identify points of contention, analyze evidence, and respectfully address differences between competing scientific theories.

The ATMS student learning outcomes are directly related to, and very closely aligned with, the UNC Asheville student learning outcomes.

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