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ERSC305 - Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics

Course Details

Course Code: ERSC305 Course ID: 4747 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course will explore the fluid mechanical principles guiding the atmosphere and ocean on a global scale. We will examine the inherit variables in the equations of motion, hydrostatic equations, and balanced flow principles. An examination of the atmospheric general circulation will be discussed including vertical and horizontal structure of temperature, pressure and density as well as a discussion on the dynamics of convection. Ocean dynamics will be discussed including the air--ocean interaction, thermohaline circulation and ocean heat budget and transport. (Prerequisite: ERSC206)





Prerequisites

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/27/19 - 11/01/19 11/04/19 - 12/29/19 Fall 2019 Session I 8 Week session
08/26/19 - 01/31/20 02/03/20 - 03/29/20 Winter 2020 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

  • CO-­‐1 Interpret the thermodynamic equation (including dry/moist air and ocean properties).
  • CO-­‐2 Analyze the conservation of mass.
  • CO-­‐3 Apply the laws of motion including the equation of motion on a rotating sphere, geostropic wind, and thermal wind.
  • CO-­‐4 Examine the large-­‐scale atmospheric energy and momentum budget.
  • CO-­‐5 Diagram the vertical distribution of temperature, pressure and density in both the atmosphere and ocean.
  • CO-­‐6 Illustrate the concept of hydrostatic balance for both the atmosphere and ocean.
  • CO-­‐7 Apply wind stress and Ekman layers.
  • CO-­‐8 Analyze the thermohaline circulation of the ocean.

Reading Assignments:
Each week, there will be selected readings and additional videos/modules to view to gain an in-­‐ depth understanding. This information is listed within the weekly Lesson. The readings are required in order to be successful within the other graded assessments.

Forum Assignments:
Each week there will be a forum assigned that will be a place for students to ask a question that they found troubling and students are to respond to at least two other student’s questions. Initial posts are due by Wednesday, with the responses due by Sunday. There will be no forum on weeks 4 and 8 to allow time to work on the exams.

It is important that the questions provide sufficient background and information so the person responding has enough information to provide you a detailed response. The responses should be thorough and answer the question while providing a citation to where the information was retrieved.

Weekly Assignment:
There is a weekly assignment each week (except Weeks 4, 7 and 8). This quiz contains short answer questions for that week’s material. Make sure that the responses are thorough and detailed to ensure you sufficiently answer the question. Mid-­‐Term and Final Exam The mid-­‐term will cover material from weeks 1-­‐4 and the final will cover material from weeks 5-­‐ 8. These exams will be a combination of short answer and multiple choice. Research Project This research project will be outlined in detail in the Lessons section. This research project will be a collaborative case study type of assignment that will require working in groups and presenting the final results to the other students.

Mid‐Term and Final Exam
The mid-­‐term will cover material from weeks 1-­‐4 and the final will cover material from weeks 5-­‐ 8. These exams will be a combination of short answer and multiple choice.

Research Project
This research project will be outlined in detail in the Lessons section. This research project will be a collaborative case study type of assignment that will require working in groups and presenting the final results to the other students.

Please see the Student Handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

NameGrade %
Forum 15.00 %
Week 1 Forum 1.88 %
Week 2 Forum 1.88 %
Week 3 Forum 1.88 %
Week 4 Forum 1.88 %
Week 5 Forum 1.88 %
Week 6 Forum 1.88 %
Week 7 Forum 1.88 %
Week 8 Forum 1.88 %
Weekly Assignment 25.00 %
Week 1 Assignment 5.00 %
Week 2 Assignment 5.00 %
Week 3 Assignment 5.00 %
Week 5 Assignment 5.00 %
Week 6 Assignment 5.00 %
Mid-Term Exam 20.00 %
Mid-Term Exam 20.00 %
Final Exam 20.00 %
Final Exam 20.00 %
Research Project 20.00 %
Research Project 20.00 %

Required Technology

  • See the Technology Requirements section of the undergraduate catalog for the minimum hardware and software requirements.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available to APUS students for free. To sign up, visit http://products.office.com/en-us/student. If you have questions about accessing the software, please contact Classroom support at classroomsupport@apus.edu.

Additional Resources

Wallace, John and Peter Hobbs (2006): Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey. 2nd Edition. New York, NY, Elsevier Academic Press.

Holton, James R. (2004): An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology 4th Edition. New York, NY. Elsevier Academic Press.

Bluestein, Howard (1992): Synoptic-­‐Dynamic Meteorology in Midlatitudes. New York, NY, Oxford University Press.

Marshall, John, and R. Alan Plumb (2008): Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics: An Introductory Text. New York, NY, Elsevier Academic Press.

Web Sites

In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain web sites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name Web Site URL/Address
COMET/MetED www.meted.ucar.edu

Book Title:Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics: An Introductory Text, 1st ed - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
ISBN:9780125586917
Publication Info:Academic Press
Author:Marshall, John
Unit Cost:$83.79
Book Title:An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, Vol 88, 4th Ed - e-book available in the APUS Online Library.
ISBN:9780123540157
Publication Info:Academic Press
Author:Holton, James
Unit Cost:$27.99

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.