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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jerome Patoux
ATM S 101
Seattle Campus


The earth's atmosphere, with emphasis on weather observations and forecasting. Daily weather map discussions. Highs, lows, fronts, clouds, storms, jet streams, air pollution, and other features of the atmosphere. Physical processes involved in weather phenomena. Intended for nonmajors. Offered: AWSpS.

Class description

In this class, we will give you an overview of the "atmospheric sciences", from Seattle weather to tornadoes, and from wind, clouds, precipitation, to hurricanes. We will also look into weather forecasting, air pollution, and climate. Our goal is to help you develop an understanding of what happens in the atmosphere, around you and around the planet.

Student learning goals

You will understand the fundamental physical and chemical processes underlying weather phenomena around the globe.

You will learn how to reason through a problem by posing a scientific question and articulating the appropriate logical arguments to answer that question.

You will learn how to break a complicated problem down into simpler questions, and how to organize your thinking from the general to the particular, and back from the particular to the general.

You will develop your spatial visualization skills and learn how to read two-dimensional maps.

You will learn how to think about the earth as a system in which all the components - atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere (ice), biosphere, lithosphere - interact in positive and negative feedback loops.

You will learn how to think across disciplines and how to develop an interdisciplinary approach to science, as we establish connections between weather and societal impacts, economy, history, politics, etc.

General method of instruction

Lectures and quiz sections. The emphasis will not be on memorizing facts and numbers. The emphasis will be, rather, on thinking, understanding, and explaining. We will illustrate how math is used in science, but will not require any math skills on quizzes and tests.

Recommended preparation

Attend lectures and quiz sections (highest correlation with a good final grade). Do the homework intelligently. Read the textbook. Keep up with the material and do not let homework, absences, reading, etc. accumulate over the quarter (highest correlation with failure). The class is not difficult, but it requires that you be diligent with your studying. A little bit every day.

Class assignments and grading

The homework is made of several questions requiring thinking beyond the material taught in class. Quizzes are made of very short multiple-choice questions. Tests are made of multiple-choice questions and short answers.

Performance on homework, quizzes, and tests.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Jerome Patoux
Date: 11/10/2012