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University at Albany Undergraduate Bulletin - 2004-2005

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences offers students four distinct undergraduate degrees within two programs: [1] a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Geological Sciences is offered within the Geological Sciences Program; [2] a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Atmospheric Science is offered within the Atmospheric Science Program; [3] a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science; and [4] a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Both the B.A. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the B.S. in Environmental Science are offered within the overall department, spanning both programs.

All four degrees are recognized as particularly challenging and attract students of high caliber who are interested in studying the fundamental processes operating on-and-within the Earth and its atmosphere.

(A detailed description of the Geological Sciences Program follows below; descriptions of the Atmospheric Science Program and the Broadcast Meteorology and Environmental Science Program follow immediately.)



Program in Geological Sciences

Faculty

Distinguished Teaching Professors

John W. Delano, Ph.D.
State University of New York at Stony Brook


Professors

William S. F. Kidd, Ph.D.
Cambridge University

Gregory D. Harper, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley


Associate Professors

Andrei Lapenis, Ph.D.
State Hydrological Institute, St. Petersburg
(joint appointment in Geography and Planning)

Braddock K. Linsley, Ph.D.
University of New Mexico


Visiting Assistant Professors

John G. Arnason, Ph.D.
Stanford University


Professor Emeritae/i

Winthrop D. Means, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Akiho Miyashiro, D.O.C.
Tokyo University


Associate Professor Emeritae/i

George W. Putman, Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State University


Adjuncts (estimated): 2
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 8


Careers

Graduates with a B.S. in geology or environmental science have found satisfying employment not only in jobs directly related to these disciplines but also in a wide variety of other activities. Students graduating with a B.S. in geology who pursue advanced degrees in geology, computer science, business administration, or geophysics have a competitive edge in the job market. Professional opportunities in jobs using geological expertise are much wider for graduates with masterís degrees, in particular for employment with environmental service/consulting companies, oil and mineral resource companies, and with state or federal agencies having responsibilities involving geological matters (geological surveys, water supply, environmental conservation, transport, etc.). Developing shortages of fossil fuels and raw materials for industry, along with an increasing need for professionals trained to understand complex environmental problems should provide a sustained demand for professional geologists and environmental scientists.


Special Programs or Opportunities

The Geology Program sponsors two weekly seminar series that provide students with a sampling of important topics in current geological research: (1) informal talks given by faculty and graduate students; and (2) formal seminars presented by outside speakers. The Program also sponsors field trips in New York, New England, and the Appalachians.


Degree Requirements for the Major in Geology

General Program B.S.: A minimum of 66 credits for the combined major and minor including: (Required) A Geo 100N or A Geo 100F, 106, 210, 212, 222, 230, 231 (or 231Z), 330, 350, 400, , 470 ; A Mat 111 or 112 or 118, 113 or 119; A Phy 105N, 106, 108N; 109, A Chm 120N or 130, 121 or 131, 122A, 122B. Elective Classes (choose at least 9 credits of the following; A Geo 260, 331, 332, 420, 435, 450, 466, 497. Students are encouraged to take the following additional courses: A Mat 108, 214, 220, 311; A Csi 101N or 201N; A Atm 100N.


Degree Requirements for the Major in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.): A minimum of 56-60 credits for the combined major and minor including: A Phy 105, 106, 108, 109; A Mat 101, 108, 111; A Chm 120N or 130; A Geo 100N or 100F, 106, 250 or A Gog 101N; A Atm 100N or 102N, 210 or 210Z, 211; two courses from A Gog 304, 385, 431, 496; a total of at least 12 credits from the following, including at least one course from each discipline: A Geo 330, 350, 435, and A Atm 304 or 304Z, 305, 307 or 307Z, 311, 335, 390, 408B.

The B.A. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences is offered as an interdisciplinary study of significant breadth spanning two classical disciplines. Students electing this major have the potential to realize new opportunities for personal enrichment and career development. However, those students committed to seeking advanced degrees in geology or atmospheric science should pursue the corresponding B.S. degree instead. All students contemplating any of the curricula described here should thoroughly discuss their options with personnel of the Advisement Services Center (ASC) and a department undergraduate adviser before formal declaration of a specific major.


Departmental Honors Program

Students who have achieved a GPA of 3.5 in the major, and an overall GPA of 3.25, may apply to the Department Chairperson not later than the end of their junior year to enter the Department Honors Program. Interested students should enroll in Geo 499, Seminar in Geology, in the spring semester of their junior year. In order to graduate with Honors, accepted students must take A Geo 498, Independent Honors Research (3 credits), and complete it with a grade of A or A-, as well as maintaining superior academic performance overall and in the major during their senior year. Proposals for research to be done in A Geo 498 must be approved in writing by the supervising faculty member and the Department Chairperson before the end of the spring semester of the studentís junior year. The other three required credits for Departmental Honors will consist of a total of three credits of A Geo 499 Seminar in Geology, one in each of the last three semesters of the degree program.


Combined B.S./M.S. Program

The combined B.S./M.S. program in geology provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and masterís degree programs from the beginning of the junior year. A carefully designed program can permit a student to earn the B.S. and M.S. degrees within ten semesters.

The combined program requires a minimum of 138 credits, of which at least 30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.S., students must meet all University and college requirements, including the requirements of the undergraduate major described previously, the minimum 60-credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, general educational requirements, and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.S., students must meet all University and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits and any other conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, professional experience, and residency requirements. Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.S. and M.S. programs.

The following graduate courses may be substituted for required undergraduate courses: A Geo 517 for A Geo 470, A Geo 535 for A Geo 435, A Geo 550 for A Geo 450, A Geo 566 for A Geo 466,. A reading knowledge of a foreign language useful in the study of geology (French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese) must be demonstrated before completion of the program, or satisfactory proficiency in a research skill such as computer programming may be substituted for the language requirement at the discretion of the department.

Students are considered as undergraduates until completion of 120 graduation credits and satisfactory completion of all B.S. requirements. Upon meeting B.S. requirements, students accepted into the combined B.S./M.S. program are automatically considered as graduate students.

Students may apply for admission to the combined degree program in geology at the beginning of their junior year or after the successful completion of 56 credits, but no later than the accumulation of 100 credits. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty are required for consideration.


Program in Atmospheric Science

Faculty

Professors

Lance F. Bosart, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kenneth L. Demerjian, Ph.D.
Ohio State University

Daniel Keyser, Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State University

Arthur Z. Loesch, Ph.D.
University of Chicago

John E. Molinari, Ph.D.
Florida State University


Associate Professors

Vincent P. Idone, Ph.D. (Chairperson)
University at Albany

Robert G. Keesee, Ph.D.
University of Colorado

Christopher Thorncroft, Ph.D.
University of Reading


Assistant Professor

Karen Mohr, Ph.D.
University of Texas, Austin


Associated Faculty

David R. Fitzjarrald, Ph.D.*
University of Virginia

Lee C. Harrison, Ph.D.*
University of Washington, Seattle

David Knight, Ph.D.
University of Washington, Seattle

G. Garland Lala, Ph.D.*
University at Albany

Michael Landin, M.S.
University at Albany

Joseph J. Michalsky, Ph.D.*
University of Kentucky

Qilong Min, Ph.D.*
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Richard R. Perez, Ph.D.*
University at Albany

James J. Schwab, Ph.D.*
Harvard University

Christopher J. Walcek, Ph.D.*
University of California, Los Angles

Wei-Chyung Wang, D.E.S.*
Columbia University

Kevin Tyle, M.S.
University at Albany

Fangqun Yu, Ph.D.*
University of California, Los Angeles


Visiting Professors

Michael J. Reeder
Monash University

Morris Weisman
National Center for Atmospheric Research

W. James Steenburgh
University of Utah

Professor Emeritae/i

Duncan C. Blanchard, Ph.D.*
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ulrich Czapski, Ph.D.
Hamburg University

Jai S. Kim, Ph.D.
University of Saskatchewan

Volker A. Mohnen, Ph.D.
University of Munich

Jon T. Scott, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin


* Primary appointment with the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center as Research Professors.

Adjuncts (estimated): 1
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 10


The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) provide the University with the stateís largest program in atmospheric science and meteorology.

The undergraduate program provides a broad background in three fundamental areas of atmospheric science: synoptic (observations and weather forecasting), dynamic (theory and computer modeling), and physical (lightning, acid rain, cloud physics, atmospheric chemistry). Because the department has a highly active research program in these areas, many opportunities exist for undergraduate research projects and part-time jobs.

The first two years of the program provide basic training in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and introductory atmospheric science. All students are encouraged to take one or two 100-level courses for enjoyment and experience (these count as electives but not as courses for the major). In the junior and senior years, requirements in the fundamental areas of atmospheric science are combined with electives, including advanced courses on atmospheric physics, atmospheric dynamics, weather forecasting, tropical meteorology and hurricanes, solar energy, air pollution, climatology, and computer applications. Highly qualified students are eligible to enter an accelerated degree program in their junior year that leads to a combined B.S./M.S. degree.

Many opportunities exist for students to become involved in department activities. Each semester, several students take part in an internship program with the on-campus office of the National Weather Service (NWS), gaining experience with weather forecasting and familiarity with the responsibilities of a NWS meteorologist.

In addition, a weather forecasting competition is held in the department each semester while classes are in session. The forecasting, along with concurrent weather discussions led by a faculty member, are open to all undergraduate majors. Undergraduates hired part-time and during the summer through research grants have the chance to work closely with a faculty member while contributing to current meteorological research. The Eastern New York Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) meets regularly and provides speakers of general interest on a variety of meteorological topics. Through these and other activities, the department offers exciting and varied opportunities to any student curious about the science of the atmosphere around us.


Careers

Graduates obtain employment in weather forecasting, environmental engineering, radio and TV broadcasting, scientific consulting, and other private firms; in university departments and research laboratories; and in federal and state agencies such as the National Weather Service, U.S. Air Force, and State Department of Energy Conservation. About half our graduates choose to go on to graduate school for an advanced degree. (The department offers full financial support and a complete tuition waiver to most students accepted into our graduate program.)


Degree Requirements for the Major in Atmospheric Science

General Program B.S.: A combined major and minor sequence including A Atm 210 (or 210Z), 211, 320, 321, 333, 410, 411; at least 12 additional credits from A Atm 307 (or 307Z) and higher level courses as advised; A Phy 140 or 141, 145, 150 or 151, 240 or 241; A Mat 111 or 112 or 118, 113 or 119, 214, 311; A Chm 120N or 130, 122A. No more than 6 credits from A Atm 490, 497, 498 or 499 may be applied toward the major requirements; further, a maximum of 3 credits from A Atm 490 will apply.

A solid foundation in physics and mathematics is recommended for all students planning to major in atmospheric science. It is recommended that all students considering this major meet with a representative of the department before each of the freshman and sophomore registration sessions.


Departmental Honors Program

Students who have by the end of their fourth semester attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 and a grade point average of at least 3.5 in courses required of the major in atmospheric science may apply to the department chair for the program leading to a B.S. degree with honors in atmospheric science. Applications must be submitted before the end of the first semester of the studentís junior year and must be accompanied by letters of recommendation from at least two faculty members.

To be admitted to the program, a student must have completed three semesters of physics (A Phy 140 or 141, 145, 150 or 151, 240 or 241), three semesters of mathematics (A Mat 111 or 112 or 118, 113 or 119, 214), and must be enrolled in or have completed A Atm 333. These requirements may be altered, upon request, for qualified transfer students. At the end of the junior year, the studentís program will be reviewed by the Honors Committee to see if satisfactory progress is being made.

To be eligible for a degree with honors, students must complete a minimum of 74 credits specified as follows: (1) the physics, mathematics, and chemistry requirements of the major; (2) the core sequence in atmospheric science (A Atm 210 or 210Z, 211, 320, 321, 333, 410 and 411) plus any three A Atm courses at the 400 or 500 level; (3) a coherent core of three upper-division courses in any discipline besides atmospheric science; and (4) 6 credits of A Atm 499 taken over at least two semesters culminating in a significant undergraduate thesis and an honors seminar in the studentís final semester. Students in the program must maintain both a minimum grade point average of 3.25 overall and 3.5 in atmospheric science courses taken to satisfy major requirements during the junior and senior years.

Upon completion of the requirements, the honors committee will make its recommendation to the faculty to grant the degree with honors in atmospheric science based upon the candidateís (1) academic record, (2) research project report, (3) honors seminar, and (4) faculty recommendations.


Degree Requirements for the Major in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.): A minimum of 56-60 credits for the combined major and minor including: A Phy 105, 106, 108, 109; A Mat 101, 108, 111; A Chm 120N or 130; A Geo 100N or 100F, 106, 250, A Gog 101N; A Atm 100N or 102N, 210 or 210Z, 211; two courses from A Gog 304, 385, 431, 496; a total of at least 12 credits from the following, including at least one course from each discipline: A Geo 330, 350, 435; A Atm 304 or 304Z, 305, 307 or 307Z, 311, 335, 390, 408B.

The B.A. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences is offered as an interdisciplinary study of significant breadth spanning two classical disciplines. Students electing this major have the potential to realize new opportunities for personal enrichment and career development. However, those students committed to seeking advanced degrees in the geological or atmospheric sciences should pursue the corresponding B.S. degree instead. All students contemplating any of the curricula described here should thoroughly discuss their options with personnel of the Advisement Services Center (ASC) and a department undergraduate adviser before formal declaration of a specific major.


Combined B.S./M.S. Program

The combined B.S./M.S. program in atmospheric science provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill simultaneously undergraduate and graduate course requirements in their senior year, thereby accelerating progress toward the M.S. degree. A carefully designed program can permit a student to complete the B.S. and M.S. degrees one year sooner than is otherwise possible.

The combined program requires a minimum of 138 credits, of which at least 30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.S., students must meet all University and college requirements, including the requirements of the undergraduate major described previously, the minimum 60-credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, the general education requirements, and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.S., students must meet all University and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits and any other conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, professional experience, and residency requirements. Up to 9 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.S. and M.S. programs.

In the summer following the senior year, the student will begin work on his or her graduate research. In preparation for this accelerated research program, the student will be required to take two semesters (6 credits) of A Atm 499, Undergraduate Research, during the junior or senior year. These 6 credits may be counted toward the undergraduate elective requirement from either of the following requirements: (1) from any four additional A Atm courses at the 400 or 500 level as advised or (2) from 6 additional credits in mathematics or sciences as advised.

Students are considered as undergraduates until completion of 120 graduation credits and satisfactory completion of all B.S. requirements. Upon meeting B.S. requirements, students are automatically considered as graduate students.

Students may apply for admission to the combined degree program in atmospheric science at the beginning of their junior year or after the successful completion of 56 credits, but not later than the accumulation of 100 credits. A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty are required for consideration.



Program in Broadcast Meteorology


Program in Environmental Science


Careers

Graduates with a B.S. in Environmental Science will be well qualified for a broad range of positions within the highly inter-disciplinary field of environmental science. Consulting firms, industry, federal and state government agencies all require employees with this type of training. The demand for individuals with such a degree is anticipated to remain strong as our society attempts to cope with and address myriad environmental impacts that are occurring on local, regional, national and global scales. Additionally, graduates with this degree are well prepared to consider advanced degrees in the sciences, or other fields such as business administration (M.B.A.) or law (J.D.).


Degree Requirements for the Major in Environmental Science

Bachelor of Science (B.S.): A minimum of 64 credits for the combined major and minor including: A Atm 100N, A Geo 100N, A Geo/Gog 201, 210, 250, 350, A Gog/Pln 330, A Mat 108, 111 or 112, 113, and 108, A Bio 110N/F, A Chm 120N or 130, A Phy 105N, 108N.

Additionally each student must select a concentration in either Earth Science, Atmospheric Science, Biology, or Geography at the time of major declaration (see below). Each concentration represents an emphasis within the overall program that best matches a studentís interest and desired career path. For example, those most interested in land surface or hydrological processes would opt for the Earth Science concentration, while those seeking careers in land use planning and geographic information systems might opt for the Geography concentration.
Correspondingly, students more interested in air pollution and climate would select the Atmospheric Science track, while those keen on aspects of biological processes and ecology would select the Biology concentration.

Earth Science Concentration (19-20 credits)

A Geo 260; 420: Electives (any combination of the following): A Bio 111N, 316, A Geo 330, 435, 450, 466, 497, 498, A Phy 202N.

Atmospheric Science Concentration (19-20 credits)

A Atm 210/Z, A Geo 260; Electives (any combination of the following);A Atm 211, 304/Z, 305, 307/Z , 311, 335, 422, 408B: Additional electives (maximum of two):A Geo 420, 450, A Bio 316, A Phy 202N.

Biology Concentration (19-20 credits)

A Bio 111N, 320: Electives (any combination of the following); A Bio 212, 306, 314, 316, 319/Z, 325, 365, 366, 402, 422, 432, 436, 442/443, 444, 445, 455, 468, A Chm 440A+B, R Pad/R Pub 465.

Geography Concentration (19-20 credits)

A Geo 260: Electives (any combination of the following); A Gog 290, 293, 304, 385, 390, 404, 414, 431, 479, 485, A Gog/Pln 496, A Geo 420, 435.


Class Key to Environmental Science Major

Environmental Science B.S. core curriculum:

A Atm 100N; The Atmosphere (3)
A Geo 100N; Planet Earth (3)
A Geo/Gog 201; Environmental Analysis (3)
A Geo 210; Earth Materials (3)
A Geo 250; Energy and Resources (3)
A Geo 350; Environmental Geochemistry (3)
A Gog 330; Principles of Environ. Manag. (3)
A Mat 111 or 112; Algebra and Calculus II or Calculus I (4)
A Mat 113; Calculus II (4)
A Mat 108; Statistics (3)
A Bio 110N/F; General Biology I (4)
A Chm 120N; General Chemistry I (3) or A Chm 130, Chemical Principles I: Advanced General Chemistry I
A Phy 105N+108N; General Physics I and II (6)

Earth Science Concentration (19-20 credits)

Required:
A Geo 260N; Earth Surface Proc. & Hazards (3)
A Geo 420; Instrum. Anal. in Environ. Sci. (3)

Electives (any combination):
A Bio 111N; General Biology II (4)
A Geo 230; Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, and the Fossil Record (3)
A Geo 231; Field Excursions for Stratigraphy (2)
A Bio 316; Biogeography (3)
A Geo 330; Structural Geology I (3)
A Geo 435; Geohydrology (3)
A Geo 450; Climate Change (4)
A Geo 466; Marine/Estuary Systems (3)
A Geo 497; Independent Study (at USGS or other local organization) (1-3)
A Geo 498; Honors Research (3)
A Phy 202N; Environmental Physics (3)

Atmospheric Science Concentration (19-20 credits)

Required:
A Atm 210/Z; Atmospheric Structure (3)
A Geo 260N; Earth Surface Proc. & Hazards (3)

Electives (any combination):
A Atm 211; Weather Analysis and Forecasting (4)
A Atm 304/Z; Air Quality (3)
A Atm 305; Global Physical Climatology (3)
A Atm 307; Atmospheric Chemistry (3)
A Atm 311; Severe and Unusual Weather Anal. & Forecasting (3)
A Atm 335; Meteorological Remote Sensing (3)
A Atm 422; Meteorol. Instrumentation & Meas.(2)
A Atm 408B; Hydrometeorology (3)

Additional electives ( maximum of two):
A Geo 420; Instrum. Anal. in Environ. Sci.(3)
A Geo 450; Climate Change (4)
A Gog 304 Climatology (3)(3)
A Bio 316; Biogeography (3)
A Phy 202N; Environmental Physics (3)

Biology Concentration (19-20 credits)

Required:
A Bio 111N; General Biology II (4)
A Bio 320; Ecology (3)

Electives (any combination):
A Bio 199; Cont. Issues in Bio Sciences (1-3)
A Bio 212; Introductory Genetics (4)
A Bio 306; Marine Biology (3)
A Bio 314; General Bacteriology (3)
A Bio 316; Biogeography (3)
A Bio 319/Z; Field Biology (3)
A Bio 365; Biological Chemistry (3)
A Bio 366; Biological Chemistry II (3)
A Bio 402; Evolution (3)
A Bio 422; Biological Architecture (3)
A Bio 442/443; Restoration Ecology (3+1)
A Bio 444; Biology of Birds (3)
A Bio 445; Experimental Ecology (3)
A Bio 455; Plant Ecology (4)
A Bio 499; Supervised Research (1-3)
A Chm 440 A; Comprehensive Biochemistry A (3)
A Chm 440 B; Comprehensive Biochemistry B (3)
R Pad/ R Pub 465/565; Hudson River Watershed: Environment, Society and Policy (3)

Geography Concentration (19-20 Credits)

Required:
A Geo 260N; Earth Surface Proc. & Hazards (3)
Electives (any combination):
A Gog 290; Introduction to Cartography (4)
A Gog 293; Use and Interpretation of Aerial Photographs (3)
A Gog 304; Climatology (3)
A Gog 385; Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment (4)
A Gog 390; Intermediate Cartography (3)
A Gog 404; Topics in Physical Geography (1-4)
A Gog 414; Computer Mapping (3)
A Gog 431; Climatic Change (3)
A Gog 479; Fundamentals of Applied GIS (3)
A Gog 485; Advanced Remote Sensing of the Environment (3)
A Gog/Pln 496; Geographic Information Systems (3)
A Geo 420; Instrum. Anal. in Environ. Sci. (3)
A Geo 435; Geohydrology (3)

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