GEOG 306: Severe and Hazardous Weather


Meteorology, Natural Environmental Systems



Course Description

This course examines the fundamentals of atmospheric phenomena with an emphasis on understanding concepts and processes behind severe manifestations of weather and climate. Physical and dynamical aspects of extratropical cyclones, winter weather phenomena, thunderstorm phenomena, tropical weather systems, and large-scale, longer-term weather events are analyzed. The course is designed so that you will develop an understanding of the important interactions between the evolution of the sciences of climatology and meteorology, technological advances, and the impacts of extreme weather and climate events. Case studies are employed to investigate human, economic, and environmental consequences of extreme weather and climate events. As a student in today's technologically rich environment, you will be a unique position to apply what you have learned immediately to weather events occurring at home, across the country, or around the world.

The course includes analyses of humankind’s impacts on the environment and how these impacts contribute to increased severity and risk of these phenomena. For example, we will explore how flooding is exacerbated due to stream channeling and damming by humans. We will also examine how tornado and hurricane risk is escalating due to a number of societal factors, including rapid population growth and expansion, together with increases in wealth, development, and urbanization.

Course Format

Course grade will be based on four tests, ten online quizzes/assessments, best four-out-of-five random in-class quizzes, as well as critical readings and questionnaire responses. Each test will be oriented toward the portion of the course most recently presented.