My teaching and advising responsibilities at the University of Illinois are the most challenging aspect of my work. I teach both graduate and undergraduate courses. The level of instruction, breadth and depth of material, and type of student enrolled in these courses differ substantially. My goal at the undergraduate level is to motivate students to take an active interest in science, to obtain a basic understanding of the workings of their physical environment, particularly the atmosphere, to appreciate the technological and scientific advances that have led to our ability to predict the future behavior of the atmosphere, and to develop educated opinions concerning the environmental issues facing the world. My courses at the graduate level are specialized. My goal in these courses is to insure that my students understand the fundamental physical principles underlying the science, to conduct thorough reviews of research in the field, and to provide skills to intelligently analyze and draw informed conclusions concerning the student’s own, as well as other published research. Achieving these goals is an enjoyable challenge.
Courses I have taught since 2000
ATMS 120: Severe and Hazardous Weather
This course considers the most extreme manifestations of weather and climate are analyzed in terms of their physical basis and their historical, economic and human consequences. Emphasis is placed on the interplay between technological advances, the evolution of meteorology as a science, and the impacts of extreme weather (winter storms, floods, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, El Nino). Technological advances includes satellites, weather radar and profilers, and computer models used for weather prediction.
ATMS 201: General Physical Meteorology
Introduction to physical processes in the atmosphere, focusing on those relevant to weather and storms. Emphasizes quantitative problem solving. Topics include atmospheric structure, atmospheric thermodynamics, clouds, synoptic meteorology, weather forecasting, and storms. For students in atmospheric sciences, physics, mathematics, engineering, and other physical and natural sciences.
ATMS 303: Synoptic-Dynamic Weather Analysis
This required undergraduate course conceptualizes the structure and dynamics of the atmosphere through interpretation and analysis of weather charts, time and cross sections, soundings, and forecast products. Students develop case studies of weather system structure, and participate in discussions of weather processes as depicted by weather maps. Depiction of atmospheric kinematic and dynamic processes on weather charts is emphasized. Students learn conceptual models of the structure of mid-latitude cyclones and convective weather systems, including cyclogenesis, frontogenesis, the process of storm intensification, occlusion and frontolysis.
ATMS 391: World Weather and Society
This course explores weather phenomenon and the impacts it has on society around the world, excluding the United States. A large focus of this course is understanding how populations are affected by extreme weather events. From the tropics to the midlatitudes to the poles, every area of meteorology is explored. Students learn the introductory level of meteorology and then dive into the more advanced topics such as East Asian air pollution, the Indian Monsoon, South American thunderstorms, Genoa Lows, and Arctic meteorology.
ATMS 401: Applied Meteorology
This course focuses on applications of meteorology that are of particular importance to stakeholders and are the focus of work in our field’s private sector. Specifically, we will investigate the role of meteorology in Aviation, National Security, Hydrometeorology, Weather Decision and support systems, Agriculture, wind and solar energy, emergency management, commodity markets, and other industries.
ATMS 410: Radar Remote Sensing
This course teaches basic principles of radar and references to other ground based remote sensing systems, with emphasis on radar. Discusses principles of conventional and Doppler radar, data processing, and use of Doppler radar and polarization radar in meteorology. Emphasizes radar observations of meteorological phenomena, such as severe thunderstorms, winter storms, and tropical cyclones. Students analyze data from national radar facilities.
ATMS 500: Dynamic Meteorology
This course provides a rigorous examination of the dynamical nature of various manifestations of the atmospheric circulation. Topics include the intrinsic effects of earth’s rotation and stratification, vorticity and potential vorticity dynamics, the boundary layer, wave dynamics, geostrophic adjustment, cyclogenesis, and frontogenesis.
ATMS 501: Mesoscale Meteorology
This course considers basic concepts and ideas on atmospheric processes that occur on scales of motions from a few kilometers to a few hundred kilometers, a scale loosely classified by meteorologists as “mesoscale”. After an introductory discussion of mesoscale classifications and attendant forecast problems, the course will introduce various mesoscale phenomena, internally generated circulations, externally forced circulations, and mesoscale instabilities. Covers all three fundamental aspects of mesoscale meteorology: observations, theory and modeling, with particular emphasis on the dynamics of mesoscale weather phenomena that produce precipitations.
ATMS 505: Weather Systems
This course examines the structure and dynamics of mid-latitude weather systems. Students integrate weather observations with dynamic theory, numerical weather prediction models, and the physical principles of atmospheric thermodynamics, cloud and precipitation physics, and radiation to study the problems of weather analysis and forecasting. Students are required to give weather forecast briefings to develop an understanding of the weather forecasting process, and gain experience in communicating weather forecasts.
ATMS 571: Professional Development
This course is aimed at professional development in the atmospheric sciences so that students recognize the importance of breath of knowledge, effective oral and written scientific communication, and other skills they will need as professionals.