Department Personnel









GEOG 105/106: Introduction to the Atmosphere

Have you ever pondered these questions?

  • Why do some thunderstorms produce tornadoes and others do not?
  • Why do most hurricanes form in summer and autumn?
  • How come it is snowing in Chicago, and raining and 60F in Carbondale?
  • Why do fronts trigger severe weather?
  • Why are weather forecasts so often wrong?
  • Why is the sky blue?
  • How are societies impacted by climate ("changes in latitude, changes in attitude" -Jimmy Buffet)?
  • How will El Niño impact winter temperatures in Chicago?
  • Why do flowers bloom in Chicago before they do in DeKalb?
  • Why does it get cooler as you hike up a Colorado mountain?
  • Why does the wind blow more from the west than any other direction in Illinois?
  • Why should cows not stand under a tree during a thunderstorm?
  • Why does it rain when surface temperatures are below 320F?
  • Why does it get dark earlier during the winter months?

Learn the answers to these and other intriguing questions in GEOG 105/106. We will explore various atmospheric concepts, examine interesting weather phenomena, and identify how we can apply this information to decisions we face in our daily activities.

What General Education Objectives are met in Geography 105/106?

Through analogies presented in lecture and laboratory it helps students develop critical thinking skills. Introduces students to the scientific method as a means of understanding issues such as global climate change and the ozone hole. Integrates information from other related science fields such as geology, biology, physics, and chemistry. Develops written and computational skills through laboratory assignments, making use of computers and other instruments. Provides a historical review of meteorology, giving perspective to how a science develops and how science is shaped by societal and cultural needs.

Facts about Geography 105/106:

Course Offered: Both spring and fall semesters: 4 credit hours (you must register for both Geog 105 and Geog 106)

General Education: Fulfills a science/math distributive area requirement and matches the following general education goals: develop communication and technical skills, apply various modes of inquiry, and develop an understanding of integrated knowledge, through a combination of lecture material, readings, and laboratory assignments, and exams.

Course Goal: To provide non-meteorology majors with a basic understanding of how the atmosphere works and impacts our lives and environment.


GEOG 303: Water Resources and the Environment (3)

This course is intended to provide the students with a broader understanding of water as a natural resource and its importance to our lives and the Earth's complex environment. Specifically, this course will cover issues related to water distribution, water usage, and water management. Relevant videos and supplement readings will used throughout the course. Upon successful completion of this course, the students will be able to:

  1. appreciate the uniqueness of water and water as a natural resources;
  2. explain the spatial and temporal distribution of water on and near the surface of the Earth and why it is so distributed (hydrologic cycle);
  3. be familiar with the technology and techniques for managing and conserving this precious resource in terms of both quantity and quality and its relation to sustainable development;
  4. understand the social/economical, legal, and political aspects of water resources.


GEOG 370: Regional Climatology (3)

Principles of climatic classification; types and groups derived from a synthesis of the climatic elements; major anomalies. This three-credit course focuses on how the energy and water imbalances around the Earth help to create atmospheric/oceanic circulations and the pattern of regional climates. Prerequisites for this course include GEOG 105 and GEOG 106, or MET 300 and STAT 301. For graduate students, this course can be taken as GEOG 570. I teach this course in spring semesters.

GEOG 498B: Seminar in Meteorology/Climatology (3)

Selected topics in the meteorology/climatology. Recent topics covered by this instructor include hydro-climatic variability and change, and El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The course includes some lecturing, however the emphasis is on student discussion and interpretation of readings. This course is generally offered for three-credits and is taught once every three years in the spring semester. Prerequisites include consent of department.

MET 300: Meteorology (4)

Study of the physical and dynamic processes involved in atmospheric science. Radiation and energy budgets, thermodynamics, stability, water vapor and clouds, pressure, winds, and circulation theorems. This rigorous course begins to integrate aspects of calculus and physics that are involved with meteorological processes into course lectures, homework and exams. This four-credit course includes three hours of lecture and a two-hour lab each week. Prerequisites for this course include GEOG 105 and GEOG 106, MATH 229, and PHYS 250A. For non-majors this course can be combined with other courses to count towards the B.S. degree requirements. I teach this course in fall semesters.

MET 431/531:Applications in Climatology (3)

Application of climatological theory and personal computers to develop climate relationship-decision models for use in agriculture, water resources, utilities, construction, transportation, and recreation. This course involves students working in groups of 2-4 on applied research projects for weather-sensitive decision makers. Prerequisites for this course include GEOG 370 and STAT 301. I teach this course in fall semesters.