1. INTRODUCTION

The changes in the curriculum reflect major developments in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences that have taken place since the previous curriculum was developed - in nature (e.g., climate change, the Antarctic ozone hole), technology (e.g., major advances in remote sensing, increases in computational power), and in the development of our scientific understanding. They also reflect the importance of Earth System Science (ESS) multidisciplinary studies of the interrelationship among the atmosphere, the oceans, the land, and the biota. These interactions have a profound effect on the dynamics and composition of atmosphere and the oceans. The new curriculum strengthens our role in major in programs such as the US Global Change Research Program and the US Climate Research Program, and takes good advantage of the strengths brought by the creation of the new Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) that links us with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, as well as our strong interactions with NOAA NESDIS and the National Weather Service.

In this curriculum we have defined three areas of study: dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere, physics and chemistry of the atmosphere, and climate and Earth System science. There is a strong need in the Federal Agencies as well as in the private sector for specialists in each of the three areas, and the background knowledge required is different for each of them. This modern curriculum has been praised in a June 15 2001 editorial in Science (vol. 292, p. 1965): Although a few pioneering individuals and institutions around the world recognize the need for the strong interdisciplinary work that defines ESS, in the main we lack the organizations to nurture this new discipline A mere handful of US and European institutions (including Penn State, the University of California at Irvine, the University of Maryland, the Danish Centre for Earth System Science, the Postdam Institute, and ETH in Zurich) offer graduate programs and the kind of interdisciplinary working environments that are essential for the rapid development of ESS.

2. AOSC GRADUATE PROGRAM GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

2.1 Overview

The AOSC courses are structured into three areas: Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Oceans, Chemistry and Physics of the Atmosphere, and Climate and Earth Sciences. We recommend to the students that during their first year they take the six core courses that cover the basics of all three concentrations. At that point the Ph. D. program students can take the comprehensive exam. Students should choose the advanced courses in consultation with their advisor and the Graduate Director. Suggested elective courses for the three concentrations are listed below. Several of the elective courses are taught/offered every other year, depending on the number of students interested in taking them.

2.2 Core Courses

  1. Dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans
    • 610 Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Oceans I (Fall)
    • 611 Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Oceans II (Spring)
  2. Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere
    • 620 Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere I (Fall)
    • 621 Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere II (Spring)
  3. Climate and Earth System Science
    • 680 Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall) (new course)
    • 617 Atmospheric and Oceanic Climate (Spring)

2.3 Elective Courses

  • 600 Synoptic meteorology
  • 602 Mesoscale meteorology
  • 614 Atmospheric modeling, data assimilation and predictability (modified title and updated syllabus)
  • 615 Advanced data assimilation for the Earth Sciences (new)
  • 624 Remote Sensing of Climate (previously AOSC658A)
  • 625 Remote sensing of the atmosphere
  • 630 Statistics in meteorology and oceanography (modified title and updated syllabus)
  • 634 Air sampling analysis (lab for AOSC 637)
  • 637 Atmospheric chemistry
  • 652 Analysis Methods in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
  • 658 Special Topics in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  • 670 Physical Oceanography
  • 671 Air-Sea Interaction
  • 684 Climate System Modeling (new course)
  • 798 Master's non-thesis Research
  • 899 Doctoral Dissertation Research
  • Suggested elective courses from other departments
  • CHEM 474 Environmental chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 723 Marine Geochemistry (3)
  • GEOG 482 Geographic Information Systems (3)
  • GEOG 625 Advanced Climatology (3)
  • GEOG639D Seminar: Geographic Perspectives in Earth System Science (3)
  • GEOL 452 Watershed and Wetland Hydrology (3)
  • GEOL 614 Thermodynamics of geological processes (3)
  • GEOL 652 Advanced Watershed and Wetland Hydrology (3)
  • MEES 661 Physics of estuarine and marine environments (3)

2.4 Catalog Description

  • AOSC 600 Synoptic Meteorology (3) (Spring)
    Transcript Title: SYNOPTIC METEOROLOGY I
    Prerequisite: AOSC 610 or equivalent
    Atmospheric properties and observations, meteorological analysis and charts, operational numerical forecasts. Application of quasigeostrophic theory, baroclinic instability, midlatitude and mesoscale weather systems. Tropical meteorology.
  • AOSC 602 Mesoscale Meteorology (3) (Spring)
    Transcript Title: MESOSCALE METEOROLOGY http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~dalin/meto602.html
    Prerequisite: AOSC 611 or equivalent
    Mesoscale approximations, cyclones and fronts, quasi- versus semi-geostrophic theory, piece-wise PV inversion, waves and instability, isolated convection, organized convective systems, numerical modeling and convective parameterizations.
  • AOSC 610 Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean I (3) (Fall)
    Transcript Title: DYNAMICS ATMOS & OCEAN I http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~dalin/meto610.html
    Pre- or corequisite: MATH 462.
    Equations of motion and their approximation, scale analysis for the atmosphere and the ocean. Conservation properties. Fluid motion in the atmosphere and oceans. Circulation and vorticity, geostrophic motion and the gradient wind balance. Turbulence and Ekman Layers.
  • AOSC 611 Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean II (3) (Spring)
    Transcript Title: DYNAMICS ATMOS & OCEAN II http://www.atmos.umd.edu/%7Ecarton/meto611/index.html
    Prerequisite: AOSC 610 or equivalent.
    Waves and instabilities in the atmosphere and the ocean. Gravity, Rossby, coastal and equatorial waves. Flow over topography. Dynamic instabilities including barotropic, baroclinic, inertial, and instabilities of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Stationary waves and multiple equlibria.
  • AOSC 614 Atmospheric Modeling, Data Assimilation and Predictability (3) (Fall)
    Transcript Title: MODELING & DATA ASSIM http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~ekalnay/m614_syllabus.html
    Prerequisite: AOSC 611 or equivalent
    Solid foundation for atmospheric and oceanic modeling and numerical weather prediction: numerical methods for partial differential equations, an introduction to physical parameterizations, modern data assimilation, and predictability.
  • AOSC 615 Advanced data assimilation for the Earth Sciences (3) (alternate years)
    Transcript Title: DATA ASSIM FOR EARTH SCI
    Prerequisite: AOSC 614 or approval of instructor
    An overview of the most important methods for data assimilation. Theory, techniques and strategies of these methods, as well as their possible drawbacks. Hands-on experimentation with variational and other data assimilation systems.
  • AOSC 617 Atmospheric and Oceanic Climate (3) (Spring)
    Transcript Title: ATMOS & OCEANIC CLIMATE
    Prerequisite: AOSC 610 or approval of instructor
    Understanding what determines the Earth's climate and how it changes. The general circulation of the Atmosphere and oceans: how weather gives rise to climate, historical perspective, observations, and conceptual models. General circulation as a heat engine driven by differential solar heating. Hadley and Walker circulations. Wind-driven and thermohaline circulation of the oceans.
  • AOSC 620 Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere I (3) (Fall)
    Transcript Title: PHYSICS & CHEM ATMOS http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~russ/syllabus620.html, http://www.meto.umd.edu/%7Ezli/AOSC620/
    Prerequisite: MATH 461
    Air parcel thermodynamics and stability; constituent thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. Cloud and aerosol physics and precipitation processes.
  • AOSC 621 Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere II (3) (Spring)
    Transcript Title: PHYSICS & CHEM ATMOS II http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~xliang/aosc621/Syllabus_AOSC621.pdf
    Prerequisite: AOSC 620 and AOSC 462 or equivalent
    Spectroscopy; radiative transfer; cloud formation; photochemistry; radiative forcing; climate sensitivity; feedbacks.
  • ASOC 624 Remote Sensing of Surface Climate (3) (Spring)
    http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~pinker/meto624-01-03.doc
    This course deals with the theory and principles of remote sensing as applicable to earth observing satellites. Discussed will be current methods to interpret satellite observations into useful climate parameters. Emphasis will be placed on parameters that provide information about the climate close to the earth surface, and that can be inferred on regional to global scales. Examples are: surface temperature and reflectivity, radiation budgets, soil moisture, and vegetation cover.
  • AOSC 625 Remote sensing of the atmosphere (3) (Fall)
    http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~owen/AOSC625/
    Prerequisite: AOSC 621 and MATH 461 or equivalent
    Weather satellite programs and instrumentation. Radiative transfer applied to satellite observations. Physical basis of remote inference. Temperature and moisture soundings. Errors in satellite retrievals. Applications to numerical weather simulation and prediction.
  • AOSC 630 Statistical Methods in Meteorology and Oceanography (3) (Spring)
    Transcript Title: STATIST AOSC-OCEANGRPHY http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~ekalnay/meto%20630%20outline%20(spring2004).pdf
    Prerequisite: STAT 400 or equivalent
    Parametric and non-parametric tests; time series analysis and filtering; wavelets. Multiple regression and screening; neural networks. Empirical orthogonal functions and teleconnections. Statistical weather and climate prediction, including MOS, constructed analogs. Ensemble forecasting and verification.
  • ASOC 634 Air sampling analysis (laboratory for AOSC 637) (3) (Fall)
    Transcript Title: AIR SAMPLING ANALYSIS http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~russ/syllabus634.html
    Theory and application of analytical techniques for the analysis of atmospheric gases and particles including priority pollutants. Combined chemical and meteorological considerations in designing field experiments. (no change)
  • AOSC 637 Advanced atmospheric chemistry (3) (Fall)
    Transcript Title: ADV ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~russ/syllabus637.html
    Prerequisite: CHEM 481 and AOSC 621 or equivalent
    Recent advances in studies of the chemistry of Earths atmosphere. Investigation of the global cycles of C, H, O, N and S species; the use of laboratory and field measurements and remote sensing in computer models of the atmosphere. The impact of chemistry on global climate.
  • AOSC 652 Analysis Methods in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
  • AOSC 658 Special Topics in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (1-3) (alternate years, staff)
    Transcript Title: SPECIAL TOPICS IN ATM OCEAN
    New or experimental courses in topics of current interest in atmospheric and ocean dynamics, data assimilation and predictability. http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~dankd/AOSC658B.html, http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~nigam/meto658N.pdf
  • AOSC 670 Physical Oceanography (3) (Fall)
    Transcript Title: PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY http://www.atmos.umd.edu/%7Ecarton/meto670
    Prerequisite: AOSC 610 or equivalent.
    Water masses, sources of deep water. Mass, heat, and salt transport, geochemical tracers. Western boundary currents, maintenance of the thermocline. Evidence for decadal time scale variability. Ocean carbon chemistry and the ocean's role in greenhouse warming. Satellite oceanography.
  • AOSC 671 Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction (3) (Alternate years)
    Transcript Title: OCEAN-ATMOS INTERACTION http://www.atmos.umd.edu/%7Ecarton/meto671
    Prerequisite: MATH 462 Corequisite: AOSC 610
    Observations and theories of the seasonal changes in the ocean circulation and temperature, and interactions with the atmosphere. Equations of motion and theories of wind-driven circulation. Mixed layer theories and observations. Midlatitude and equatorial waves. Seasonal budgets of momentum, fresh water, and heat. El Nino/Southern Oscillation. Interannual variability and atmosphere-ocean coupling.
  • AOSC 680 Introduction to Earth System Science (3) (Fall)
    Transcript Title: INTRO EARTH SYSTEM SCI
    An introduction to the study of the earth as a system: atmosphere, oceans, land, cryosphere, solid earth, and humans. Cycling of materials and energy in the earth system: the energy cycle, the hydrologic cycle, the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle. Climate processes and variability: land-atmosphere, ocean-atmosphere, biosphere-climate, and human interactions, short- and long-term variability in climate.
  • AOSC 684 Climate System Modeling (3) (Fall)
    Transcript Title: CLIMATE SYSTEM MODELING http://www.atmos.umd.edu/%7Ezeng/meto684.html
    Prerequisite: AOSC 617 or equivalent.
    Fundamentals in building computer models to simulate the components of the climate system: atmosphere, ocean ice, land-surface, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and the biogeochemical cycles embedded in the physical climate system, in particular, the carbon cycle. Simple to state-of-the-art research models to tackle problems such as the Daisy World, El Nino and global warming.

3. MASTER of SCIENCE (M.S.) DEGREE PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science offers a non-thesis program leading to the Master of Science Degree. The requirements include course work, a scholarly paper, and a comprehensive examination.

3.1 Course Work

A minimum of thirty semester hours in courses acceptable for credit toward a graduate degree is required for the degree program. Every student should take all six core courses. With the approval of the Graduate Director, the students academic advisor, and the Department Chair, a student may substitute 600 (Synoptic Meteorology) for 611 (Dynamics II) in unusual circumstances. In addition to the core courses (18 credits), students should take a minimum of 12 more credits (4 courses) from the electives. A maximum of 3 credits of AOSC 798 (Directed Graduate Research) is acceptable toward the degree. In addition to the 30 credits, MS students are required to write and present a scholarly paper, attend the Department seminar series and participate in the student seminar series.

3.2 Scholarly Paper

The purpose of the scholarly paper is to demonstrate the ability to conduct original or literature research. The student selects a subject acceptable to both a faculty member and the student, and under the supervision of the faculty member, the student undertakes independent study. At the conclusion of the independent study, the student presents the faculty member with a written paper, which the faculty member will evaluate for completeness, scientific accuracy, and research ability. The student then presents the paper at a Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Seminar. A bound version of the paper will become part of the permanent archive of the Department Library. A Ph.D. dissertation prospectus will satisfy this requirement.

3.3 Comprehensive Examination

The Comprehensive Examination for the MS degree is a written examination. This written examination is composed of questions comprehensive consisting of questions of a general nature related to material taught in AOSC610, AOSC620, and AOSC617. Students will also be expected to complete AOSC611, AOSC621, and AOSC680 with a minimum grade of 3.0 (or to demonstrate mastery of this material). AOSC 611 can be replaced by AOSC 600 for those students with a specialization in Chemistry who get approval from their advisor, the AOSC Graduate Director, and Department Chair.

3.4 Time Limit

All requirements for the M.S. degree must be completed within a five-year period. This time limit applies to any transfer work from other institutions to be included in the student's program. A full-time student can complete the M.S. degree in two years.

3.5 Seminars

All the students are required to attend the weekly department seminar series. Each semester a professor (or the seminar organizer) is listed as the course instructor. Students should sign in. Informal student seminars (about 20 minutes each) are held every other week. Students are expected to attend these seminars and once a year present a short seminar where they discuss their progress and ideas.

4. DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY (Ph.D.) DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (AOSC) offers a Program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) in AOSC. This program is designed to furnish the student with the education and research background necessary to carry out independent and original scientific research. In order to earn the Ph.D., the student must complete a course work requirement, pass the Candidacy Examinations, and prepare and defend a dissertation.

4.1 Course Work Requirement

The course work requirement is a minimum of thirty semester hours in 600-level AOSC Department courses. In addition, the student must take 12 credits of AOSC 899 (Doctoral Dissertation Research). Every student should take all 6 core courses. With the approval of the Graduate Director, the student advisor, and the Department chair, a student may substitute 600 (Synoptic Meteorology) for 611 (Dynamics II) in unusual circumstances. In addition to the core courses (18 credits), students should take a minimum of 12 more credits (4 courses) from the electives. Some of the advanced courses may be taught only every second year. It is anticipated that students take elective courses chosen mostly from the concentration of choice. Students may petition the Department for a waiver of some course requirements based on credits earned at another institution at the graduate level.

4.2 Candidacy Qualifying Examination

A student seeking the Ph.D. degree in atmospheric and oceanic science must pass the Candidacy Examinations, which are divided into two parts - The Comprehensive Examination (described above, with its associated course requirements) and the Specialty Examination. The Specialty Examination consists of a brief (15 page, single spaced) dissertation prospectus together with an oral examination. The oral examination will be related to the student's research and can include questions of a general nature. Following successful completion of the Candidacy Examinations the student advances to Candidacy. Ability to perform independent research must be demonstrated by a written dissertation. The dissertation should be an original contribution to knowledge and demonstrate the ability to present the subject matter in a scholarly style. Upon completion of the dissertation the candidate is required to present the research results at an Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Department seminar and to defend the material to the satisfaction of a Final Examining Committee appointed by the Dean for Graduate Studies.

Full-time students are expected to complete the Candidacy Examinations by the end of the second year of graduate study. Students must be admitted to Candidacy within three years after admission to the doctoral program and at least six months before the date on which the degree will be conferred. The student must complete the entire program for the degree, including the dissertation and final examination, during a four-year period after admission to candidacy.

4.3 Graduate Track for Accomplished Scientists

Graduate students with exceptional scientific achievements may, through written petition to the Graduate Director, replace the written portion of the Comprehensive Exam with a seminar followed by an oral examination. To qualify for this track, the candidate needs to meet the following requirements:

1) have an earned MS degree in atmospheric or oceanic science, or a related field, ordinarily from an accredited American university, and receive approval from the five-member Departmental Examination Committee. 2) have published at least five, peer-reviewed, Science Citation Index (SCI) journal articles in atmospheric, oceanic, or a closely related science. He or she must be the lead or corresponding author of at least three of those papers.

The candidate must present an open seminar on his/her past research followed by a closed oral exam by the Examination Committee of at least three faculty plus the Graduate Director, and the Admissions Committee Chair. Two or more negative votes constitutes failure. The final decision will be subject to review by the committee of the whole. The successful candidate will then have six months to complete the oral component of the Candidacy Examination for advancement to candidacy.

4.4 Time Limits

Full-time students can take the Comprehensive Examination by the end of the first year of graduate study, and are expected to complete it by the end of the second year of graduate study and be admitted to candidacy by the end of the third year. Students must be admitted to candidacy within five years after admission to the doctoral program and at least six months before the date on which the degree will be conferred. The student must complete the entire program for the degree, including the dissertation and final examination, during a four-year period after admission to candidacy.

4.5 Seminars

All the students are required to attend the weekly department seminar series. Each semester a professor (or the seminar organizer) is listed as the course instructor. Students should sign in. Informal student seminars (about 20 minutes each) are held every other week. Students are expected to attend these seminars and once a year and present a short seminar where they discuss their progress and ideas.

5. SAMPLE COURSE PLANS

Depending on the previous educational background and current research needs, students may consider taking one of the following three different course plans to meet the 30-credit degree requirements after consulting with their academic advisor:

i) Complete the core courses in 1 year

Enroll in AOSC 610, 620, 680, and 798 in the Fall; and

Enroll in AOSC 611, 621, 617, and 798 in the Spring.

Take two electives and one 798 in year two.

ii) Complete the core courses in 1.5 years

Enroll in AOSC 610, 620, 798 plus one elective in the Fall;

Enroll in AOSC 611, 617, 621, 798 in the Spring; and

Enroll AOSC 680 in the Fall of year two, plus two electives and one 798 in either the Fall or Spring of year two.

iii) Complete the core courses in 2 years

Enroll in AOSC 610, 620, 798, plus one elective in the Fall;

Enroll in AOSC 611, 617, 798 plus one elective in the Spring;

Enroll in AOSC 680 and one (or two) elective in the Fall of year two; and

Enroll in AOSC 621 and one (or no) elective in the Spring of year two;

plus one 798 in either the Fall or Spring of year two.

Two electives for Fall 2012 some students may consider taking are AOSC600 and AOSC652. NOTE: All first and second year students are required to attend the main AOSC Department seminars help on Thursdays, during the academic year. Attendance will be taken, and only 1-2 seminars can be missed per semester.

Students are encouraged to complete the core courses in one year, and take the written Comprehensive Exam after two semesters, with the current new Exam system. Please let your student(s) know that he/she has to pass AOSC 610, 620 and 617 before signing up for the written Exam. At the end of year two, students, who have passed the written Exam, are required to take the oral, which will be related to their research projects in addition to questions of a general nature. If a student is ready with the prospectus prior to the end of the second year, he/she may take the oral when deemed ready (in consultation with his/her advisor).