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Atmospheric Science Courses

Numbers in parentheses are the credits per course.
* = Core courses, BA = By Arrangement with instructor.

16:107:501  Fundamentals of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics* (3)
Instructor: E. Curchitser, D. Haidvogel, and B. Lintner
Prerequisites: 01:640:251; 11:670:324; 11:628:451 or equivalent
The theoretical basis for atmospheric and oceanic fluid dynamics: derivation of the equations of motion on the sphere; conservation of angular momentum, vorticity and energy; linear wave dynamics; hydrodynamic instability.

16:107:532 Atmospheric Physics* (3)
Instructor: M. Miller
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
The atmospheric physics of gravitation, clouds and aerosols, precipitation, energy and momentum transfer, solar and terrestrial radiation, optics, acoustics.

16:107:536  Air Sampling and Analysis Techniques (3)
Instructor: G. Mainelis
Prerequisite: 11:375:421 or equivalent
Theory and laboratory exercises in ambient and indoor air sampling. Topics range from classical air sampling trains to the use of state-of-art direct-reading instrumentation, and measurements of airborne nanoparticles and airborne biological agents.

16:107:539 Introduction to Radiative Transfer in the Atmosphere and Ocean (3)
Instructor: M. Miller
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Theory and simple models of radiative transfer in the ocean and atmosphere. Current research utilizing these techniques, including modeling clouds, aerosols and climate, and environmental remote sensing.

16:107:544 Modeling of Climatic Change (3)  Syllabus for 16:107:544 (PDF)
Instructor: A. Robock
Prerequisites: At least one graduate course in meteorology, oceanography, or physical geography. Knowledge of a high-level programming language, such as FORTRAN or C.
Climate models, including energy-balance, radiative-convective, and general circulation models. Actual practice running climate models and analyzing output.

16:107:545 Physical Climatology* (3)  Syllabus for 16:107:545
Instructor: A. Broccoli
Prerequisite: A basic course in meteorology or climatology.
The climate system, surface-energy balance, past climate variations, climate-feedback mechanisms, climate modeling, causes of climate change, detection and attribution of anthropogenic climate change.

16:107:553 Mechanisms of Past Climate Change (3)  Syllabus for 16:107:553
Instructor: A. Broccoli
Prerequisite: Graduate-level coursework in meteorology, oceanography, geology, or physical geography.
Mechanisms responsible for changes in climate during Earth's distant past, including orbital forcing of climate change, millennial-scale climate variability, and past changes in tropical atmosphere-ocean interaction.

16:107:571 Climate Change Risk Analysis (3)
Instructor:  R. Kopp and E. Curchitser
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Science, economics and policy of climate change risks. Extreme events, sea-level rise, agriculture, energy, health, labor, conflict, ecosystem services, tipping points. Decision-making under uncertainty and with long time horizons.

16:107:603,604 Independent Study in Atmospheric Science (BA,BA)
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
The student conducts an independent comprehensive literature review and investigation of meteorological areas of interest other than the thesis topic. Regular reports of progress made in conference.

16:107:605,606 Special Topics in Atmospheric Science (3,3)
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Selected topics in atmospheric science. Current literature and recent advances.

16:107:671,672 Seminar in Atmospheric Science (1,1)
Prerequisites: 11:670:323, 324, or equivalent.
Review of recent advances in atmospheric science.

16:107:701,702 Research in Atmospheric Science (BA,BA)
Research in atmospheric science.

Courses in other graduate programs that are of the GPAS curriculum or are recommended for GPAS students:

Numbers in parentheses are the credits per course.
* = Core courses, BA = By Arrangement with instructor.

16:180:563  Advanced Hydrology (3)
Hydrologic processes and modeling: evapotranspiration, infiltration, precipitation and snow melt, overland flow, subsurface and surface flow relations, channel and watershed routing; hydraulic flood routing, numerical methods; watershed modeling; stochastic processes in hydrology; flood and drought risks, flood plain analysis and management.

16:375:524  Source Control of Atmospheric Pollution (3)
Instructor: R. Miskewitz
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Principles, operation, performance, and application of methods and devices to control aerosol and gaseous emissions.

16:375:540  Atmospheric Chemistry* (3)
Instructor: A. Carlton
Prerequisite: 11:375:421 or permission of instructor
Air pollutants, trace gases, and aerosols discussed in terms of their observed distribution in time and space; sources and sinks in the atmosphere and its boundaries; budgets and cycles. Emphasis on tropospheric chemical reactions.

16:650:636  Turbulence (3)
Prerequisite: 16:650:530
Physical aspects and methods of analysis of turbulent flows; scaling laws, modeling techniques, and statistical description of turbulence; application to problems in engineering science and geophysical fluid dynamics.

16:650:640  Acoustics (3)
Pre- or co-requisite: 16:642:530 Undergraduate fluid mechanics / Advanced mathematics
Sound-wave propagation in gases and liquids. Reflection and transmission phenomena. Emission and absorption of sound.

16:712:501  Physical Oceanography (3)
Instructors: J. Miller, R. Chant, and D. Haidvogel (in rotation: two on, one off)
Prerequisite: One year of college calculus and college physics.
The physical and chemical properties of sea water; sound and radiation in the oceans; heat, water, and momentum exchange at air-sea interface; tides, waves, and currents.

16:712:502  Large Scale Ocean and Atmosphere Dynamics (3) 
Instructors: D. Haidvogel, E. Curchitser, and B. Lintner
Prerequisite: 16:712:501 or permission of instructor
The theoretical basis for the observed large-scale, atmospheric and ocean circulation is presented. Topics include: derivation of the three-dimensional equations of motion; vorticity and energy; the planetary boundary layer; synoptic-scale motions; linear waves; hydrodynamic instability; the general circulation on the sphere; the effects of boundaries on large-scale horizontal flow; and vertical structure and motion.

16:712:552  Remote Sensing of Oceans and Atmospheres (3) 
Instructors: M. Miller, J. Miller, and J. Wilkin
Prerequisite: Permission of instructors
This course provides an introduction to physical principles of remote sensing; an overview of past, present, and future instruments on satellites, aircraft, the surface, and under the ocean; and a description of many applications in oceanography and atmospheric sciences.

16:712:560  History of Earth Systems (3)
Instructor: P. Falkowski
Prerequisite: Introductory chemistry, biology, and physics or by permission.
This course integrates atmospheric, oceanographic, geological and biological concepts with a historical perspective to introduce the student to the major processes that have shaped Earth's environment. The course will examine climatic processes on geological time scales, the evolution of organisms, the cycling of elements, and the feedbacks between these processes.

16:712:603  Numerical Modeling of the Atmosphere and Ocean I (3)
Instructors: D. Haidvogel and J. Levin
Prerequisites: 16:712:615, or equivalent basic programming skills.
Introduction to techniques used to model geophysical fluid systems: approximation of functions and equations; finite difference, finite element, Fourier and spectral methods; advection algorithms; parameterization and smoothing; model testing and evaluation.

16:712:604  Numerical Modeling of the Atmosphere and Ocean II: Coupled Systems (3)
Instructors: D. Haidvogel, H. Fuchs, and J. Levin
Prerequisites: 16:712:501 Physical Oceanography or by instructor permission.
Introduction to topical approaches to the modeling of coupled geophysical systems; meridional circulation and geochemical cycling; coupled physical/biological response in the surface ocean, steady-state geochemical box models; one-dimensional (vertical) circulation models; various types of least-squares estimation (e.g., for data assimilation).

16:712:615  Geophysical Data Analysis* (3)
Instructors: R. Chant and J. Wilkin
Prerequisites: Calculus, differential equations, linear algebra.
Quantitative analysis and display of spatial and time-series data; filters; spectral analysis; covariance; coherence; confidence intervals; goodness-of-fit; optimal interpolation of unequally spaced data; empirical orthogonal functions; and harmonic analysis. Practical exercises using Matlab to analyze data from marine and environmental instruments, satellites, and climatologies. Communicating quantitative results to an audience.

16:960:590  Design of Experiments (3)
Prerequisite: 01:960:484 or 401 or equivalent.
Fundamental principles of experimental design; completely randomized variance component designs; randomized blocks; Latin squares; incomplete blocks; partially hierarchic mixed-model experiments; factorial experiments; fractional factorials; and response surface exploration.