Undergraduate Programs in Meteorology and Oceanography

College of Science and Engineering
Dean: Sheldon Axler

Department of Geosciences
509 Thornton Hall
415 338-2061
Fax: 415-338-7705
Chair: Oswaldo Garcia

Graduate Coordinators: Grove (Geology) and Monteverdi (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences)

Credential Adviser: Caskey

Faculty

Professors—Dempsey, Garcia, Garfield, Grove, Monteverdi, Mustart, Pestrong, White

Associate Professors—Caskey

Assistant Professors—Dekens, Gurdak, Janssen, Leech, Sklar

Adjunct Faculty—Nanus

Programs
B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences: Concentration in Meteorology
B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences: Concentration in Oceanography
Certificate in Weather Study

General Education Courses


Affiliations

The Department of Geosciences is a UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) Affiliate.

Program Scope

The Department of Geosciences offers three undergraduate degree programs and a minor program spanning the geosciences (that is, earth sciences), including geology, atmospheric sciences (including meteorology), and oceanography. It also offers a graduate program leading to a Master of Science in Geosciences.

The B.S. in Geology provides rigorous professional education and training in geology with a strong emphasis on investigations in the field (that is, outdoors). It also provides excellent preparation for graduate work in geology. The B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences includes a Concentration in Meteorology that provides modern professional education and training in meteorology, including weather forecasting, and preparation for graduate work in atmospheric sciences. A Concentration in Oceanography provides analogous preparation in oceanography. The B.A. in Earth Sciences provides a broad, flexible, integrated background in the earth sciences. The Minor in Earth Sciences does the same on a smaller scale and can complement a variety of other majors. The M.S. in Geosciences provides education and training in research in the geosciences in close collaboration with a faculty advisor, with emphasis on applied problems in the San Francisco Bay region.

Career Outlook

Geoscience investigations lead to new discoveries of useful earth materials, solutions to environmental problems, and insights into earth processes that affect people’s lives. Geoscientists contribute basic information to society for analyzing and solving problems and establishing policy for managing resources, protecting the environment, and assessing natural hazards. Dwindling energy, mineral, and water resources, and increasing environmental concern about issues such as global warming and its impacts, present challenges that create a demand for geoscientific expertise.

Graduates in geology, meteorology, and oceanography may pursue a wide range of careers in the earth sciences and related fields. Geologists currently find the greatest opportunities in the broad areas of environmental/engineering geology, including such specializations as surface and groundwater hydrogeology, geotechnical studies aimed at locating and remediating toxic sites, earthquake and landslide hazard assessment, and site evaluation for urban planning or construction. There also continue to be positions available in petroleum geology and minerals exploration. A shortage of certified high school and middle school science teachers has placed qualified teachers in high demand. Meteorologists will find opportunities in short- and long-range weather forecasting, air pollution assessment, wind energy assessment, global climate change research, and broadcast meteorology. For most types of jobs, the strongest candidates will have a master's degree, several years of field experience, and an interdisciplinary background with strong chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer skills. Geologists and meteorologists are employed by a large number of government agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, National Weather Service, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California Division of Mines and Geology, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Forest Service. Many geologists and some meteorologists in the San Francisco Bay Area work for environmental consulting firms, and some meteorologists become broadcast meteorologists working for local television and radio stations. In addition to preparing students for advanced work as professional geologists, meteorologists, and oceanographers, the M.S. in Geosciences qualifies students to teach at community colleges and prepares others to continue their graduate education in doctoral programs leading to careers in university teaching and research.

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS IN GEOSCIENCES

The B.A. in Earth Sciences, B.S. in Geology, B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Minor in Earth Sciences are described and their requirements summarized below.

Advising The Department of Geosciences requires that declared majors consult with an advisor every semester, and prospective majors should consult with an advisor as early as possible, particularly about selecting courses in the General Education program that best fit the major program. Students will also be advised about completing basic science requirements before taking upper division courses in geosciences, and about the order in which required courses should best be taken. Students interested in preparing to teach high school or middle school earth sciences and integrated science should consult the credential adviser in the department of geosciences.

Every course counted toward major requirements must be completed with a letter grade (CR/NC is not acceptable.) No more than one course counted toward major requirements may be completed with a grade less than a C-. Course work used to satisfy major requirements must be completed with an overall point average of 2.0 or higher.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC SCIENCES

Meteorology Concentration

The Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences includes a Concentration in Meteorology and a Concentration in Oceanography, which share a common, interdisciplinary core built on principles of mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, as well as fundamental concepts in meteorology and oceanography. The Meteorology Concentration adheres to guidelines for B.S. programs in Meteorology issued by the American Meteorological Society. It prepares students for graduate education in meteorology and for a variety of careers, including weather forecasting for the National Weather Service or private industry, broadcast meteorology, and environmental analysis and consulting across a broad range of applications such as air quality, wind power, forensic meteorology, natural hazards, and climate change. Similarly, the Oceanography Concentration prepares students for graduate education in oceanography and for a variety of careers in oceanography.

The Concentration in Meteorology covers core topics including the thermodynamics of air, cloud physics, atmospheric radiation, dynamic meteorology, the analysis and forecasting of weather, climate change, and weather instruments, as well as elective topics such as forecasting weather for the public, severe storms, numerical weather prediction, air-sea interactions such as the El Niño phenomenon, and advanced analysis and forecasting of weather, particularly on the West Coast. The Concentration in Oceanography covers core topics including physical oceanography, air-sea interactions, marine geology, and chemical oceanography, as well as elective topics in biological oceanography, meteorology, coastal processes, etc.

We encourage students to seek internship opportunities, for which credit is granted through METR 694 (“Cooperative Education in Meteorology”). We also recommend that students interested in preparing for graduate school complete 1-3 units of METR/OCN 697 (“Senior Project”) or METR/OCN 699 (“Special Study”) during the senior year, under the direction of a faculty advisor. (METR 694, METR/OCN 697 and METR/OCN 699 do not count toward degree requirements.)

For students interested in becoming a broadcast meteorologist, the B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Concentration in Meteorology satisfies one requirement of the American Meteorological Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) program. (See http://www.ametsoc.org/amscert/ for more information about the CBM program.)

Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Science and Mathematics Foundation Units
Chemistry
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry (3/2)  
Computer Science
METR 460/
OCN 460
Use of Computers in Meteorology and Oceanography (2)  
Mathematics
MATH 226 Calculus I (4)  
MATH 227 Calculus II (4)
MATH 228 Calculus III (4)
MATH 245 Elementary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra
MATH 324 Probability and Statistics with Computing
Physics
PHYS 220/PHYS 222 General Physics with Calculus I/Laboratory (3/1)  

PHYS 240/PHYS 242
or
METR/OCN 320
or
PHYS 230/PHYS 232

General Physics with Calculus III/Laboratory (3/1)

Introduction to Fluid Mechanics for Earth and Environmental Sciences (4) (Upon advisement)

General Physics with Calculus II/Laboratory (3/1)

Total science and mathematics foundation requirements 33
Meteorology and Oceanography Core
OCN 200 Physical Processes in the Ocean  
METR 201 Physical Processes in the Atmosphere
METR 470/OCN 470 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observing Techniques and Systems (2)
GEOL 405/
METR 405/
OCN 405
Planetary Climate Change (4)
METR 415/METR 715 Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Ocean
METR 465/OCN 465 Computer Programming with Applications in Meteorology and Oceanography
Total meteorology and oceanography core requirements 18

 

B. S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences:
Concentration in Meteorology (Synopsis)

Meteorology Required Courses
METR 301 Weather Chart Analysis and Discussion (1)  
METR 410 Atmospheric Thermodynamics and Cloud Physics (4)
METR 420 Atmospheric Dynamics I (4)
METR 430 Weather Analysis and Forecasting I (4)
METR 520 Atmospheric Dynamics II (2)
   
Total meteorology requirements 15
Meteorology Electives (select at least 3 units)
GEOL 458 Climate History  
METR 450/OCN 450 Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions
METR 530 Weather Analysis and Forecasting II
METR 535 Analysis and Prediction of Severe Storms
METR 540 Numerical Weather Prediction (2)
METR 590/790 Consulting Meteorology and Oceanography (2)
METR 698 Public Weather Forecasting (1-3)
METR 699 Independent Study (1-3)
METR/OCN 756 Science of Anthropogenic Climate Change
OCN 420 Physical Oceanography
Total meteorology electives 3
Total for Meteorology Concentration 18
Total for Science and Mathematics Foundation (from above) 33
Total for Meteorology and Oceanography Core (from above) 18
Total for major 69

 

B. S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences:
Concentration in Oceanography (Synopsis)

Oceanography Required Courses Units
CHEM 680 Chemical Oceanography  
GEOL 410/710 Coastal Processes (3)
GEOL 458 Climate History
METR 450/OCN 450 Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions
OCN 420 Physical Oceanography
Total oceanography requirements 15
Oceanography Electives (select from the course(s) not selected from the options above and/or from the list below, upon advisement, so that elective and required oceanography courses total at least 18 units)
BIOL 582 Biological Oceanography (4)  
GEOL 402 Coastal Geology in the Field (1)
METR 410 Atmospheric Thermodynamics and Cloud Physics (4)
METR 420 Atmospheric Dynamics I (4)
METR 590/790 Consulting Meteorology and Oceanography (2)
METR/OCN 756 Science of Anthropogenic Climate Change
PHYS 495 Introduction to Apparatus Fabrication (1)
Total oceanography electives 3
Total for Oceanography Concentration 18
Total for Science and Mathematics Foundation (from above) 33
Total for Meteorology and Oceanography Core (from above) 18
Total for major 69

Certificate Program in Weather Study

The Department of Geosciences offers the Certificate in Weather Study (formerly titled "Certificate Program in Meteorology For Broadcasters") as a program appropriate for the person who is interested in learning about meteorology and companion disciplines in considerable depth, but not at the majors level. Persons completing the certificate will be able to read and interpret basic weather maps, will be able to make basic weather forecasts for themselves, and will be conversant on many topics of interest and importance in the curren time, including Global Change.

Applying for Award of the Certificate

Students external to SFSUor students already having completed a baccalaureate degree must enroll as "Post-Baccalaureate Students". When all the requirements for either an undergraduate or graduate certificate program have been completed, the following steps must be taken to apply for the certificate, to have the completion of the requirements checked, and to have the certificate awarded to the student. Note that the Graduate Division is responsible for the final processing requirements for both undergraduate and graduate certificates. Graduation for Extended Learning certificates is processed through the Extended Learning Office.

The student prepares a Certificate Approved Program (CAP) form (available in Undergraduate Studies, or Graduate Division) and forwards it, along with transcript(s) showing the completion of all course requirements, to the department chair of the area offering the certificate program.

The chair is responsible for determining that all the requirements for the certificate have been satisfactorily completed. This is accomplished by signing the CAP form.

After paying the application fee ($7.00) for the award of the certificate at the Cashier's Office and having the CAP form stamped "Paid," the student is responsible for filing (a) the signed CAP form, (b) the supporting transcript(s), and (c) the evidence of the fee paid, in the Graduate Division (for both undergraduate and graduate certificates).

The Graduate Division is responsible for reviewing the materials received and authorizing the issuance of the undergraduate or graduate certificate on behalf of the department/program area and in the name of the university. This is accomplished by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or the Graduate Division, as appropriate, signing the certificate and returning it along with two signed copies of the CAP form to the department/program area. Upon receipt, the department/ program chair signs the official certificate and arranges to issue it, along with a copy of the CAP form, to the student. A second copy of the signed CAP form is to be retained by the department/program area for its records.

The Graduate Division is also responsible for forwarding a signed copy of the CAP form to the Registrar's Office. This copy of the CAP form will serve as the official notification that all the certificate requirements have been completed satisfactorily. The registrar is then responsible for posting the award of the certificate on the student's permanent academic record (i.e., transcript).

Note: The AMS Broadcast Seal for Radio and Television was discontinued after 31 December 2008. A new program, the Certfied Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) program, will be an option for media meteorologists as of January 2005, and will completely replace the Broadcast Seal in 2009. The requirements for the CBM and AMS's method of evaluation are summarized on this pdf file (N.B., you will need a pdf reader to open this---for Mac Preview or Adobe Acrobat Reader, for PC Adobe Acrobat Reader).

 


Certificate Program in Weather Study

 

Core Meteorology Requirement
OCN 200 Physical Processes in the Ocean
3
METR 201 Physical Processes in the Atmosphere
3
METR 301 Weather Chart Analysis and Discussion
1
GEOL/METR/OCN 405 Planetary Climate Change/Lab (3/1)
4
METR 698 Public Weather Forecasting
3
Total for Core Meteorology Requirement 14
Elective Courses
At least 10 units from the following upon advisement:
GEOL 302*, METR 460, METR 302*, METR 356, METR 590 or any Meteorology Course Numbered 400 or Greater
10
* These courses comprise the General Education Segment III cluster "Our Violent Planet"
10
Total for Certificate
24

 


General Education for Non-Science Students

METR 100 Introduction to Meteorology 3
METR 101 Introduction to Meteorology Lab 1
OCN 100 Introduction to Oceanography 3
OCN 101 Introduction to Oceanography Lab 1
METR 302 The Violent Atmosphere and Ocean 3
METR 356 California Weather Events 3



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Last modified Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:52 AM