Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Climatology Minor

Soil, Water, & Climate
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Required credits in this minor: 20 to 21
The minor allows students to broaden their expertise in weather and climate studies. Students who will be working for any industry or agency that depends on understanding weather and climate change will find the minor useful. Students take a required course in meteorology and the atmosphere. Electives are in climate variations and change, atmospheric composition and air pollution, biometeorology, and global environmental change. Students must complete at least 20 credits to complete the minor.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Minor Courses
ESPM 1425 - Introduction to Weather and Climate [PHYS, ENV] (4.0 cr)
or GEOG 1425 - Introduction to Weather and Climate [PHYS, ENV] (4.0 cr)
Electives
Take 16 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ESPM 3131 - Environmental Physics (3.0 cr)
· ESPM 3425 - Atmospheric Pollution: From Smog to Climate Change (3.0 cr)
· ESPM 3777 - Climate Change- Physics, Myths, Mysteries, and Uncertainties (3.0 cr)
· ESPM 5402 - Biometeorology (3.0 cr)
· LAAS 5425 - Atmospheric Processes I: Thermodynamics and Dynamics of the Atmosphere (3.0 cr)
· LAAS 5426 - Atmospheric Processes II: Radiation, Composition, and Climate (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3401 - Geography of Environmental Systems and Global Change [ENV] (4.0 cr)
· GEOG 3423 - Urban Climatology (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 5426 - Climatic Variations (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 1006 - Oceanography [PHYS, ENV] (4.0 cr)
· ESCI 3002 - Climate Change and Human History [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3402 - Science and Politics of Global Warming [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· PUBH 6154 - Climate Change and Global Health (3.0 cr)
 
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View college catalog(s):
· College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

View sample plan(s):
· Climatology Sample Plan

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· Climatology Minor
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ESPM 1425 - Introduction to Weather and Climate (PHYS, ENV)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00671 - ESPM 1425/Geog 1425
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
A pre-calculus introduction to the nature of the atmosphere and its behavior. Topics covered include atmospheric composition, structure, stability, and motion; precipitation processes, air masses, fronts, cyclones, and anticyclones; general weather patterns; meteorological instruments and observation; weather map analysis; and weather forecasting.
GEOG 1425 - Introduction to Weather and Climate (PHYS, ENV)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00671 - ESPM 1425/Geog 1425
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
A pre-calculus introduction to the nature of the atmosphere and its behavior. Topics covered include atmospheric composition, structure, stability, and motion; precipitation processes, air masses, fronts, cyclones, and anticyclones; general weather patterns; meteorological instruments and observation; weather map analysis; and weather forecasting.
ESPM 3131 - Environmental Physics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Concepts and principles of classic and modern physics applied to environmental problems arising from interaction between humans and the natural environment. Forms of pollution (e.g., land, water, air). Transport mechanisms. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Global climate change. Social issues related to environmental problems. prereq: Phys 1101
ESPM 3425 - Atmospheric Pollution: From Smog to Climate Change
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01765 - ESPM 3425/ESci 3425
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Processes governing chemical makeup of Earth's atmosphere. Implications for air pollution, climate, human welfare. Evolution of atmosphere. Atmospheric structure/transport. Biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, mercury. Greenhouse effect. Aerosols. Stratospheric ozone loss. prereq: [CHEM 1061, PHYS 1101W, MATH 1142 or 1271] or equiv or instr consent
ESPM 3777 - Climate Change- Physics, Myths, Mysteries, and Uncertainties
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02618 - ESPM 3777/GCC 3006
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Climate variations are the norm; not the exception. The geological and archaeological records are rich with evidence of a climate system that is dynamic and non-steady state. Yet we face the challenges of understanding the complexities of this system in order to manage our natural resources and to prepare wisely for the future. This class examines the basic theory and Physics behind the atmospheric greenhouse effect and radiative forcings in the climate system. The Myths, Mysteries, and Uncertainties about the climate record and feedback processes operating in the Earth-Atmosphere system will be examined. Simple models will be used to demonstrate the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Sophisticated numerical weather models, such as the Regional Weather and Forecast Chemistry (WRF-CHEM) model, will be used to demonstrate climate predictions and biophysical feedback processes. We will also study some of the classic Warming Papers that provide the physical scientific basis for the anthropogenic greenhouse effect. Finally, we will explore the uncertainties related to climate predictions and how scientists use fingerprint techniques to diagnose natural versus anthropogenic climate signals. There is no prerequisite required for this course, but first year calculus and one other first year science course is recommended.
ESPM 5402 - Biometeorology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
This course examines the interactions between the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface. We will discuss the principles of the surface energy and radiation balance, air motion in the atmospheric boundary layer, land surface parameterization for climate models, boundary layer budgets, and field research methods. The course aims to achieve exemplary learning through hands-on activities and examining recent field studies conducted in natural and managed ecosystems. prereq: MATH 1271, PHYS 1201, STAT 3011, [instr consent]
LAAS 5425 - Atmospheric Processes I: Thermodynamics and Dynamics of the Atmosphere
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Basic laws governing atmospheric motion through analysis of atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics at the micro, synoptic, and global scales. Fundamental thermodynamic and dynamical processes/equations governing the behavior of the atmosphere/apply to larger-scale geophysical situations. prereq: One yr college-level [calculus, physics]
LAAS 5426 - Atmospheric Processes II: Radiation, Composition, and Climate
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Atmospheric radiation, composition/chemistry, climate change. Radiative transfer in Earth's atmosphere. Changing chemical makeup of troposphere/stratosphere. Interplay between natural processes and human activities in air pollution, stratospheric ozone depletion, and chemical forcing of climate. Anthropogenic contribution to climate change/role of land-atmosphere feedbacks affecting atmosphere's energy budget and cycling of greenhouse gases. Application to numerical modeling. prereq: [one yr college-level [calculus, physics, chemistry]]; LAAS 5425 recommended
GEOG 3401 - Geography of Environmental Systems and Global Change (ENV)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Geog 3401/5401
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Geographic patterns, dynamics, and interactions of atmospheric, hydrospheric, geomorphic, pedologic, and biologic systems as context for human population, development, and resource use patterns.
GEOG 3423 - Urban Climatology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Urban climatology focuses on how cities modify the local environment. Initial focus is on urban energy balance as the basis of most urban-climate research. The course also explores how atmospheric composition, urban hydrology, and urban ecosystems affect the urban climate, and how urban climates are linked to regional and global climate change.
GEOG 5426 - Climatic Variations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Theories of climatic fluctuations and change at decadal to centuries time scales; analysis of temporal and spatial fluctuations especially during the period of instrumental record. prereq: 1425 or 3401 or instr consent
ESCI 1006 - Oceanography (PHYS, ENV)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Geo 1006/5006
Typically offered: Every Fall
How various processes in the ocean interact. Marine biology, waves, tides, chemical oceanography, marine geology, and human interaction with the sea. Labs include study of live marine invertebrates, manipulation of oceanographic data, and discussion using videos showing unique aspects of ocean research.
ESCI 3002 - Climate Change and Human History (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01284
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Causes of long-/short-term climate change. Frequency/magnitude of past climate changes; their geologic records. Relationship of past climate changes to development of agrarian societies and to shifts in power among kingdoms/city-states. Emphasizes last 10,000 years.
ESCI 3402 - Science and Politics of Global Warming (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01702 - Geo 3402/Geo 5402
Typically offered: Every Spring
Detection/attribution of global warming using concepts of radiation, climate system, and carbon cycle. Effects on society/biodiversity. National/global efforts/controversy over responses/consequences.
PUBH 6154 - Climate Change and Global Health
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Interconnected relationships between global climate change/human health. Develop computer models to predict climate change from natural/anthropogenic forces, predict human health outcomes as result of changing climate. prereq: Students must have elementary computer skills.