AGECO/METEO 122 Syllabus
Professor: Scott A. Isard, Ph.D.
Class location: 203 Willard Hall
Class meeting time: M W F | 1:25-2:15 p.m. | Fall semester
Prerequisites: No prerequisites beyond high school algebra are required. An interest in agriculture, the natural sciences and the environment in general will be helpful for this course.
Office: 205 Buckhout Lab
Office phone: 814-865-6290
Office hours: M W F | 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Required: K. Lutgens and E. J. Tarbuck. (2016). The Atmosphere: An Introduction to Meteorology (13th Edition): Prentice Hall.
By the end of the semester, students will be able to describe and discuss:
- the effect of weather elements on plants and animals;
- how the major weather elements interact to govern storms, daily weather, and climate;
- how humans are changing our atmospheric environment.
Atmospheric Environment: Growing in the Wind is for students who are interested in learning about the dynamic effects of weather on plants and animals. It is about how processes at the ground surface and in the air govern weather conditions on Earth.
Growing in the Wind focuses on five major weather elements: energy, temperature, moisture, pressure, and wind and how these factors govern ecosystems and habitation of our planet. Emphasis is also given to 1) human impacts on weather and climate and 2) current environmental issues involving the atmosphere.
The lectures are organized around the central theme that the unequal distribution of incoming solar energy (both spatially and temporally) produces temperature and pressure contrasts at Earth’s surface and in the atmosphere that in turn cause storms and control the weather and climate.
"Whether the weather is cold, or whether the weather is not, we'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not!"
The lecture schedule for Growing in the Wind is provided below. The schedule may change slightly as the course progresses; however, if this happens you will be informed either in class or by email. Slides and lecture notes are available on the AGECO/METEO 122 Canvas website as PowerPoint presentations. Quizzes will be given on lectures throughout the course of the semester. They will be administered with five minutes left in the lecture period and cover the material discussed in the preceding 45 minutes. Each quiz will be five questions in length and worth a total of five points.
The chapters for the readings are listed next to the lecture topics below. A total of ten points can be earned for reading each chapter by taking the associated Open Book Chapter Quiz that is available on the AGECO/METEO 122 Canvas website. The quizzes consist of ten questions and will last for ten minutes. The quizzes can be taken a total of three times and only the highest grade will be recorded. Quizzes will be available to take before and until 11:50 p.m. on the day that the readings are assigned and unavailable thereafter. The schedule for the last day when each Open Book Chapter Quiz is available is provided below.
Exams will consist of short essay and multiple choice questions. They will cover lecture, reading, and project materials.
There will be three labs during the semester. Students will work in small groups on the assignments and make oral presentations of their results to the class.
|Exam I||Multiple choice and short essay||100|
|Exam II||Multiple choice and short essay||100|
|Exam III||Multiple choice and short essay||100|
|Exam IV||Multiple choice and short essay||100|
|Class Assignments||3 lab projects (50 points each)||150|
|Book Chapter Quizzes||13 quizzes (10 points each)||130|
|Lecture Quizzes||4 lecture quizzes (5 points each)||20|
"Some people are weatherwise, but most are otherwise."
Attendance: You are responsible for all the material covered in class discussions as well as for the readings. Frequent absences will negatively impact your performance.
Assignments: All assignments are due on the dates specified on the syllabus. The university has careful policies about your rights and responsibilities in the case of emergency and illness. Please be familiar with them and do not try to abuse them.
Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University’s educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources website provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources website.
In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.
Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff and fellow students expect each student to uphold the university’s standards of academic integrity both in and outside of the classroom.
Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the university community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity; respect other students' dignity, rights, and property; and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, plagiarism, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the university community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49‐20 and G‐9 Procedures).
|Mon||8/21||1:25-2:15||Orientation||Read chp 1|
|Wed||8/23||1:25-2:15||Physical Characteristics of Earth and Atmosphere|
|Fri||8/25||1:25-2:15||Introduction to the Atmosphere I: Composition and Layers of the Atmosphere|
|Mon||8/28||1:25-2:15||Introduction to the Atmosphere II: Ozone Depletion||Read chp 2|
|Tues||8/29||11:59||Chp 1 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||8/30||1:25-2:15||Heating Earth's Surface and Atmosphere I: Earth-Sun Geometry & Energy, Heat and Temperature|
|Fri||9/1||1:25-2:15||Heating Earth's Surface and Atmosphere II: Solar and Terrestrial Radiation||Read chp 3|
|Tues||9/5||11:59||Chp 2 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||9/6||1:25-2:15||Temperature I: Controls and Distribution|
|Fri||9/8||1:25-2:15||Temperature II: Human Impact on the Environment: Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect|
|Mon||9/11||1:25-2:15||Lab I: Weather Resources on the Internet: Introduction|
|Mon||9/11||11:59||Lab I Part B Step 1: Weather Resources on the Internet due|
|Tues||9/12||11:59||Chp 3 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||9/13||1:25-2:15||Lab I: Weather Resources on the Internet: Work session|
|Wed||9/13||11:59||Lab I Part B Step 2: Weather Resources on the Internet due|
|Fri||9/15||1:25-2:15||Biometeorology of Plants, Animals, and Humans|
|Sat||9/16||11:59||Lab I Part B Steps 3-4: Weather Resources on the Internet due|
|Mon||9/18||1:25-2:15||Lab I: Weather Resources on the Internet: Class presentations|
|Mon||9/18||11:59||Lab I Part A, Part B Step 5, and Part C: Weather Resources on the Internet due|
|Wed||9/20||1:25-2:15||Spillover; Exam I Review|
|Fri||9/22||1:25-2:15||Exam I||Read chp 4|
|Mon||9/25||1:25-2:15||Phase Changes of Water; Exam I returned|
|Wed||9/27||1:25-2:15||Moisture and Atmospheric Stability I: Moisture in the Atmosphere|
|Fri||9/29||1:25-2:15||Moisture and Atmospheric Stability II: Lifting and Stability|
|Sun||10/1||11:59||Chp 4 Book Quiz due|
|Mon||10/2||1:25-2:15||Stability Review and Forms of Condensation and Precipitation|
|Wed||10/4||1:25-2:15||To be determined||Read chp 5|
|Fri||10/6||1:25-2:15||Forms of Condensation and Precipitation, cont.,||Read chp 6|
|Sun||10/8||11:59||Chp 5 Book Quiz due|
|Mon||10/9||1:25-2:15||Air Pressure and Winds||Read chp 7|
|Tues||10/10||11:59||Chp 6 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||10/11||1:25-2:15||Circulation in the Atmosphere I: Scales of Motion, Global Circulation Models and Hadley Cells|
|Fri||10/13||1:25-2:15||Circulation in the Atmosphere II: Westerlies|
|Tues||10/17||11:59||Chp 7 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||10/18||1:25-2:15||Spillover; Exam II Review|
|Fri||10/20||1:25-2:15||Exam II||Read chp 8|
|Mon||10/23||1:25-2:15||Air Masses; Exam II returned||Read chp 9|
|Tues||10/24||11:59||Chp 8 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||10/25||1:25-2:15||Midlatitude Cyclones I|
|Fri||10/27||1:25-2:15||Midlatitude Cyclones II|
|Mon||10/30||1:25-2:15||Lab II: Application of Temperature and Moisture Data: Introduction|
|Tues||10/31||11:59||Chp 9 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||11/1||1:25-2:15||Lab II: Application of Temperature and Moisture Data: Work session||Read chp 10|
|Mon||11/6||1:25-2:15||Tornadoes||Read chp 11|
|Tues||11/7||11:59||Chp 10 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||11/8||1:25-2:15||Hurricanes||Lab II due|
Extra Credit: Lab II Part B3: Applications of Temperature and Moisture Data due;
Lab II Parts A, B1, B2, B4: Applications of Temperature and Moisture Data due
|Fri||11/10||1:25-2:15||Spillover; Exam III Review|
|Sun||11/12||11:59||Chp 11 Book Quiz due|
|Mon||11/13||1:25-2:15||Exam III||Read chp 15|
|Wed||11/15||1:25-2:15||Climate Classification and World Precipitation Patterns; Exam III returned|
|Fri||11/17||1:25-2:15||World Climates I|
|Mon||11/27||1:25-2:15||World Climates II|
|Tues||11/28||11:59||Chp 15 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||11/29||1:25-2:15||Lab III: Severe Weather Event: Introduction||Read chp 14|
|Mon||12/4||1:25-2:15||Video: To What Degree|
|Tues||12/5||11:59||Chp 14 Book Quiz due|
|Wed||12/6||1:25-2:15||Lab III: Class presentations|
|Wed||12/6||11:59||Lab III Parts A-C: Severe Weather Broadcast due|
|Fri||12/8||1:25-2:15||Lab III: Class presentations; Exam IV Review|