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Required ATMOS Courses

The following ATMOS courses are required for all students pursuing the B.S. degree in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Utah.


Course Number Course Title Description Schedule
ATMOS 1010 Severe and Unusual Weather Survey of the fundamentals of atmospheric science with an emphasis on severe and hazardous weather including hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash floods, and snowstorms. (3 credits) Offered every semester including summer
ATMOS 1020 Climate Change Explores the natural and human induced variations in the Earth's climate. Emphasis will be placed on the evidence underlying climate change and the factors that control Earth's climate. Topics range from climate of the Earth's history, present-day global warming, climatic effects of volcanic eruptions, to impacts of climate change on hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and droughts. (3 credits) Offered fall and spring semesters
ATMOS 3000 Professional Development in the Atmospheric Sciences

This course provides an introduction to the atmospheric sciences profession and related environmental fields. Career opportunities in government, industry, and education are discussed by professionals employed in areas such as weather forecasting, broadcasting, air quality, fire weather, hydrology, and snow safety. The course also introduces critical concepts related to observing and forecasting the atmosphere that are applied in many of the upper-division courses. (1.5 credits)

Offered fall semesters
ATMOS 3010 Weather Forecasting

The tools and techniques of modern weather forecasting applied in a real-time forecast environment. May be taken for repeat credit with instructor consent. (1.5 credits)

Offered spring semesters
ATMOS 3100 Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution

The course will apply basic principles of physics and chemistry to quantitatively describe the processes that control the chemical composition and evolution of the Earth's atmosphere. Special topics include acid rain, the ozone hole, photochemical smog production, health effects of air pollution, and alternative energy sources. (3 credits)

Prerequisites: CHEM 1210 AND MATH 1220 or instructor's consent

Offered spring semesters 
ATMOS 3200 Mountain Weather and Climate

Influence of terrain upon typical and severe weather, including local wind circulations and mountain snowstorms. Applications of mountain meteorology to related fields such as air pollution, fire weather, sports aviation and snowpack evolution. (3 credits)

Offered spring semesters in even years
ATMOS 5000 Introduction to Atmospheric Sciences

An intermediate-level introduction to the atmospheric sciences for both atmospheric science majors and other scientists and engineers. Topics include the structure of atmosphere, atmospheric thermodynamics, cloud physics, radiative transfer, and atmospheric dynamics. (3 credits)

Prerequisites: MATH 1220, PHYS 2210 or instructor's consent

Offered fall semesters
ATMOS 5020 Environmental Programming

Fundamentals and applications of scientific computer programming relevant to environmental fields. Skills necessary to solve physically-based problems using computational resources and methods are stressed. The course relies on the Matlab computing environment with brief introductions to: unix shell commands and scripts; file system issues; html; and Python. (1.5 credits)

Prerequisites: MATH 1210

Offered fall semesters
ATMOS 5040 Environmental Statistics

Environmental fields are overwhelmed with data. What is the best way to make sense of all that information? Statistical methods in environmental sciences are introduced including time series analysis, multivariate data analysis, statistical forecasting, forecast verification, and hypothesis testing. A variety of atmospheric and environmental data sets are examined using Matlab. (1.5 credits)

Prerequisite: CS 1000 or CS 1001 

Offered spring semesters in odd years
ATMOS 5050 Environmental Instrumentation

Understanding our environment requires understanding how measurements of it are made. The techniques and instrumentation required to observe conditions near and immediately above the earth's surface are introduced. Laboratory and field exercises are used to develop experience applicable for careers in the atmospheric and environmental fields. (2 credits)

Co-requisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 2220 or instructor's consent

Offered spring semesters in even years
ATMOS 5100 Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics

Introduction to atmospheric fluid dynamics, including fundamental forces, conservation laws, governing equations, circulation and vorticity. (3 credits)

Prerequisite: ATMOS 5000

Offered spring semesters
ATMOS 5110 Synoptic-Dynamic Meteorology I

A survey of modern-day synoptic meteorology and its applications, with emphasis on the integrated use of numerical analysis, atmospheric dynamics, and physical meteorology to understand, explain, and predict the evolution of mid-latitude weather systems. (3 credits)

Prerequisite: ATMOS 5100 or instructor's consent 

Offered fall semesters
ATMOS 5120 Weather Discussion

Student-led analysis and prediction of current and future weather using modern analysis and forecast tools. (1 credit) Repetitive for up to 2 credit hours.

Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in ATMOS 5110 or instructor's consent

Offered fall semesters
ATMOS 5130 Physical Meteorology I: Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics of dry and moist air, including adiabatic processes, parcel theory, and thermodynamic diagrams. (1.5 credits)

Prerequisite: ATMOS 5000

Offered spring semesters
ATMOS 5140 Physical Meteorology II: Atmospheric Radiation

Solar and infrared radiative transfer in the atmosphere, and the green house effect. (1.5 credits)

Prerequisite: ATMOS 5000

Offered spring semesters
Last Updated: 7/27/20