Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 : Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences


MTR 150 Meteorology  4 SH
A general introduction to meteorology. Topics to be discussed include the physical causes behind atmospheric vertical structure, atmospheric motion, atmospheric stability and cloud formation, warm and cold precipitation, large-scale high and low pressure systems, planetary jet streams, the global circulation, air masses and fronts, mid-latitude cyclone structure and evolution, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes with an introduction to physical and regional climatology (3 hrs lecture, 2 hrs laboratory). Prerequisite: MAT 100 or equivalent. Competency:  Scientific Inquiry.

MTR 230, 231 Weather Analysis and Forecasting I & II 4 SH each

The two-semester course introduces students to qualitative and quantitative approaches to weather forecasting. The first semester builds on basic meteorological principles introduced in MTR 150 and applies them to the forecast problem. Elementary dynamics, moisture and stability, air masses, and surface and upper-air weather systems are examined from a forecasting perspective. Lab work includes practical work with thermodynamic diagrams, diagnoses of surface and upper-air charts, diagnostic use of radar and satellite imagery, and qualitative approaches to the forecast problem.

The second semester takes a more quantitative approach and applies basic hydrodynamic and thermodynamic principles to the forecast problem with an emphasis on making the connection between theory and application. Fundamental topics in theoretical hydrodynamics and thermodynamics are introduced and expanded upon towards a derivation of quasi-geostrophic theory and an understanding of the structure and evolution of large-scale weather systems. Real-time weather maps and operational graphical output from numerical forecast models are integrated into the presentations. Lab work includes use of model output forecast data, forecast graphics, and satellite and radar imagery in daily operational forecasting (3 hrs. lecture, 2 hrs. laboratory). Prerequisite: For MTR 230: MTR 150 and MAT 182.  (3 hrs. lecture, 2 hrs. laboratory).

MTR 240 Climatology 3 SH
This is an introductory course in climatology. Topics include solar and terrestrial radiation, the general circulation, global and local forcings of temperature and precipitation patterns, air-sea interaction, climate classification schemes, global warming, and climate change. A survey of anomalous local climate patterns will be included. Daily weather discussions of global weather patterns utilizing real-time weather data in the WCSU Meteorological Studies and Weather Center will be used to reinforce course material (3 hrs lecture). Prerequisite: MTR 150.

MTR 260 Practicum in Weathercasting 2 SH
This course provides an introduction to production and performance of video weathercasts. Students will gather weather data and forecasts, produce appropriate graphics, and present the information on-camera. This will all go towards developing skills in telling the weather story and forecast in a clear and understandable manner, as would be appropriate in a local television news format. Not for major credit. In addition to the practicum work, students will meet for a weekly 2 hour lab/discussion section to develop performance and production skills and critique student weathercasts. Every semester. Prerequisites: MTR 150, MTR 240. May be repeated with permission of instructor up to three times.

MTR 298 Faculty Developed Study  3 SH

MTR 299 Student Developed Study  3 SH

MTR 310 Atmospheric Thermodynamics  3 SH

This course is the first part of a two-semester sequence in theoretical meteorology. Topics to be discussed include moisture variables, thermodynamic diagrams, atmospheric stability, the equation of state for a mixture of gases, the first and second laws of thermodynamics applied to atmospheric motions, adiabatic and diabatic processes for dry and moist air, phase changes of water, atmospheric statics, and vertical acceleration. (3 hrs lecture). Prerequisites: PHY 111 and MAT 281.

MTR 311 Atmospheric Dynamics 3 SH
This course is the second part of a two-semester sequence in theoretical meteorology. Topics to be discussed include meteorological applications of fluid kinematics and dynamics, divergence, vorticity, equations of motion on the rotating earth, scale analysis, geostrophic, gradient, and thermal winds, ageostrophy, vorticity and potential vorticity (PV) equations, dynamics of synoptic-scale motions, quasi geostrophic (QG) theory, atmospheric waves and instabilities (3 hrs lecture). Prerequisites/Corequisite: MTR 310, PHY 111.

MTR 330, 331 Operational Forecasting & Weathercasting I & II 3 SH each
This two-semester lab/practicum will introduce students to the daily operations of a weather consulting and forecast center. Students will be assigned day or evening shifts in WCSU’s Meteorological Studies and Weather Center where they will forecast, service client needs, and perform duties normally required of meteorologists working in either public or private operational forecasting centers. Lab work will include instruction in local, regional, national, and international forecasting techniques, use of operational weather prediction models, and interpretation of radar and satellite imagery. Practicum work may include radio and television weathercasting for campus media outlets, data entry and analysis, issuing severe weather statements, preparation of weather graphics and material for newspapers and the general public (2 hrs laboratory, 6-8 hrs practicum). Prerequisites/Corequisite: For MTR 330: MTR 231 and MTR 311; for MTR 331: MTR 330.

MTR 340 Mesoscale Meteorology and Numerical Forecasting 3 SH
This course is a qualitative and semi-quantitative introduction to mesoscale (regional scale) meteorology. Topics to be discussed include mesoscale waves, multicell and supercell thunderstorms, squall lines, mesoscale convective systems and complexes, mesoscale fronts and jets, and severe weather outbreaks (3 hrs lecture). Prerequisite: ES 210. Prerequisites/Corequisite: MAT 282 and MTR 311.

MTR 370 Internship in Meteorology 4 SH

Internship in Meteorology (proposed) Course Description: This course offers students the opportunity to engage in a full or part-time non-academic, departmentally approved, internship experience for a pre-determined period of time. Junior standing in meteorology is a minimum requirement. It is recommended that students complete MTR 230 (MTR 231 is preferred) before enrolling in MTR 370. Students will be required to (i) obtain an MTR program faculty mentor and internship sponsor, and submit a detailed written proposal prior to undertaking the internship, (ii) attend regular weekly meeting with their MTR program mentor (which may include meeting with other MTR program faculty and their interns), (iii) attend a monthly meeting with the MTR program internship coordinator, and (iv) write a term paper and give an oral presentation/seminar focusing on the scientific aspects of meteorology as outlined in their internship proposal and successfully demonstrate these aspects as applied to their internship experience. Compensation need not necessarily be provided by sponsoring agency. One SH credit will be granted per 50 internship hours. This course will be offered every semester. Prerequisite: MTR 311 and an overall 2.0 or higher; GPA 2.33 or higher in both MTR 310 and MTR 311. Competency: Culminating Experience and Writing Intensive Tier 3.

MTR 430 Meteorological Instrumentation 4 SH
This course is an introduction to advanced meteorological instruments, platforms and observational systems. Sensor performance and sources of error are discussed.  The laboratory session emphasizes hands-on outdoor learning and uses computer programming and numerical methods to collect, process, and analyze data from the atmosphere and ocean surface (3 hrs lecture, 2 hrs laboratory). Prerequisite: MAT 120, PHY 111. Prerequisites/Corequisite: MAT 282.

MTR 440 Atmospheric Physics and Remote Sensing 4 SH
This course will familiarize students with radiative transfer theory and atmospheric remote sensing technology.  Interpretation of Doppler radar and polar or geosynchronous orbiting satellite-derived imagery will be studied, including computer-based image processing.  This course also concentrates on the microphysics of warm and cold clouds and their associated precipitation, in particular the interaction between atmospheric water and radiation (3 hrs lecture, 2 hrs laboratory) . Prerequisite: MAT 120, MAT 182 and ES 210.

MTR 450 Senior Research in Meteorology  4 SH
Open only to Senior meteorology majors, this course will consist of the student collaborating closely with meteorology faculty on an individual research project of mutual interest. Emphasis will be placed on introducing the student to meteorological research, peer-reviewed journals, current research methods and topics, data analysis and interpretation, and effective communication of project results. Numerical weather prediction models, meteorological instruments, computers, and other facilities of the WCSU Meteorological Studies and Weather Center can be used by students in carrying out their research projects. Both written (research paper) and oral defense of the research is required. Every semester. Prerequisites/Corequisite: MTR 311.

MTR 490 Advanced Topics in Meteorology  4 SH
Course content will vary depending on interest of instructor and students and will cover all aspects of meteorology and atmospheric science not normally addressed in 200-level or 300-level courses. Topics may come from such diverse areas as microscale meteorology, electrodynamics of clouds and storms, numerical weather prediction, mesoscale modeling, boundary layer turbulence, atmospheric chemistry, air-sea interaction, coupled atmosphere-ocean models, middle atmospheric dynamics, aeronomy, or solar-terrestrial interactions. Prerequisites/Corequisite: MTR 311 and MTR 315, or permission of the instructor.