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Courses in CoE Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences
AOSS, a department in the College of Engineering, is the only one that combines science and engineering, offering an integrated view of Earth and space. The blending of atmospheric and space sciences with engineering puts AOSS at the forefront of the movement to understand the Earth, atmosphere, planets, solar system and space weather in a whole systemic view, rather than individual components.

Although AOSS courses are offered through the College of Engineering, several courses are approved by LSA to earn LSA credits and some may be used to meet distribution requirements. Other Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences courses are listed in the College of Engineering Bulletin, and in the Schedule of Classes as part of the offerings of the College of Engineering in the AOSS subsection and may be elected by LSA students as a part of non-LSA course work.

LSA Credit

The following courses count as LSA courses for LSA degree credit.
Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences (AOSS)
AOSS 101 / ASTRO 183. Rocket Science
(3 in the half-term). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

An introduction to the science of the space and space exploration. Topics covered include history of spaceflight, rockets, orbits, the space environment, satellites, remote sensing, and the future human presence in space. The mathematics will be at the level of algebra and trigonometry.

AOSS 102 / EARTH 122 / ENVIRON 102. Extreme Weather
(3). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in AOSS 202.

This course provides an introduction to the physics of extreme weather events. The course uses examples of the thunderstorms, jet stream, floods, lake-effect snowstorms, lightning, thunder, hail, hurricanes, and tornados to illustrate the physical laws governing the atmosphere. Participants apply these principles in hands-on storm forecasting and weather analysis assignments.

AOSS 105 / CHEM 105 / ENSCEN 105 / ENVIRON 105. Our Changing Atmosphere
(3). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

The science of the greenhouse effect, stratospheric ozone depletion, polar ozone holes, and urban smog. These phenomena and their possible consequences are discusses, along with the properties and behavior of the atmosphere and its components of the environment.

AOSS 171 / BIOLOGY 110 / EARTH 171 / ENSCEN 171 / ENVIRON 110. Introduction of Global Change: Physical Processes
(4). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Credit is granted for a combined total of 17 credits elected in introductory biology. Satisfies the geography requirement for State of Michigan certification for social studies teachers. F.

Students learn about the evolution of the universe, Earth, our changing environment and our planets living organisms. Global Change I, which is part of the GC curriculum, assumes no prior science background. Homework and laboratories use computer-based systems modeling and analysis, and includes a group presentation.

AOSS 172 / EARTH 172 / ENSCEN 172 / ENVIRON 111 / GEOG 111. Global Change: The Sustainability Challenge
(4). (ID). (BS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit. May not be included in a concentration plan. Satisfies the geography requirement for State of Michigan certification for social studies teachers. W.

This course explores scenarios for human sustainability and builds competencies in systems thinking and critical analysis, toward planning a sustainable future and to support responsible decision-making that minimizes impacts on the planet's ecosystem and resources.

AOSS 320 / EARTH 320. Earth Systems Evolution
MATH 116. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Introduction to the physics and chemistry of Earth, Gravitational energy, radiative energy, Earth's energy budget, and Earth tectonics are discussed along with chemical evolution and biogeochemical cycles. The connections among the carbon cycle, silicate weathering, and the natural greenhouse effect are discussed.

AOSS 321 / EARTH 321. Earth Systems Dynamics
Preceded or accompanied by MATH 215 or 216. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course will describe the major wind systems and ocean currents that are important to climate studies. The primary equations will be developed and simple solutions derived that will explain many of these motions. The relations among the dynamics and other parameters in the climate system will be illustrated by examples from both paleo and present day systems.

AOSS 323 / EARTH 323. Earth System Analysis
(4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Introduction to the analysis of Earth and Atmospheric Science Systems. Topics include linear systems, harmonic analysis, sampling theory and statistical error analysis. Lectures emphasize underlying mathematical concepts. Labs emphasize application of mathematical methods to analysis of field data in a computer programming environment. Applications include turbulent air motion in the planetary boundary layer, cloud and precipitation microphysical composition, oceanic wave propagation, stratospheric ozone depletion and satellite remote sensing.

AOSS 350 / EARTH 350. Atmospheric Thermodynamics
MATH 216 or 256 or 286 or 316, with a C or better. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Fundamentals of thermodynamics are presented, including the First, Second and Third Laws, ideal gases, adiabatic processes, phase changes, vapor pressure, humidity, and atmospheric stability. The Kinetic Theory of Gasses provides a molecular perspective on the various forms of atmospheric water substance and on macroscopic phenomenology in general.

AOSS 370 / EARTH 370. Solar-Terrestrial Relations
MATH 216 and PHYSICS 240. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Introduction to solar terrestrial relations with an overview of solar radiation and its variability on all time-scales. The effects of this variability on the near-Earth space environment and upper atmosphere are considered, as well as effects on the lower and middle atmosphere with connections to weather and climate. Subjects are approached through extensive data analysis, including weekly computer lab sessions.

AOSS 380 / EARTH 381. Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation
MATH 216 or 256 or 286 or 316, with a C or better. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Basic concepts and processes of radiative transfer including radiometric quantities, electromagnetic spectrum, absorption, emission, scattering. The physics laws governing these processes including the Planck Law and the Kirchhoff Law. Radiative properties of atmospheric constituents. Reflection and refraction. Introductory-level descriptions of relevant applications in atmospheric sciences and climate physics.

AOSS 401 / EARTH 401. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
AOSS 323 or EARTH 323 (or GEOSCI 323); MATH 215 and 216 and PHYSICS 240. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Dynamics of the oceans and atmosphere. Equations of motion in spherical coordinates, beta-plane approximation, wave properties in the oceans and atmosphere.

AOSS 410 / EARTH 409. Earth System Modeling
EARTH (GEOSCI) 320 and 321; or AOSS 320 and 321. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Introduction to Earth System Modeling; Discussion of energy balance models, carbon cycle models, and atmospheric chemistry models with multiple time scales; Methods for numerical solution and practice building and analyzing results from models.

AOSS 411 / EARTH 411. Cloud and Precipitation Processes
350, MATH 216. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

The special nature of water substance; nucleation of phase changes in the free atmosphere; the structure and content of coulds; the development of physical characteristics of precipitation; and the dynamics of rain systems.

AOSS 414 / EARTH 414. Weather Systems
AOSS 350, AOSS 401, AOSS 551. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Introduction to the basic characteristics, thermodynamics, and dynamics of atmospheric weather systems on Earth and other planets. The students are exposed to observations of weather systems while reviewing non-dimensional analysis, dynamics and thermodynamics. Weather systems on earth are compared to that of other planets and analytical tools are used to gain insights into their basic physics.

AOSS 422 / EARTH 423. Boundary Layer Meteorology
AOSS 350 or equivalent. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course explores processes in the atmospheric boundary layer, which plays an important role in the exchange of energy, mass and momentum between land and atmosphere. Topics include applications of governing atmospheric equations, atmospheric turbulence, turbulent kinetic energy, the surface energy balance, and the collection and analysis of field flux tower data.

AOSS 440 / EARTH 454. Meteorological Analysis Laboratory
AOSS 350, AOSS 401. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course provides an introduction into the analysis of both surface-based and remotely-sensed meteorological data. The development and application of operational numerical forecast models will be discussed. Techniques for the prediction of both synoptic and mesoscale meteorological phenomena will also be presented.

AOSS 451 / EARTH 457 / ENSCEN 451. Atmospheric Dynamics I
AOSS 401 or MATH 450. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Quasi-geotropic energetics; fronts; the mean circulation; planetary and equatorial waves; overview of the dynamics of the middle atmosphere; wave-mean flow interaction; spectral methods; and tropical meteorology.

AOSS 467 / CHEM 467 / EARTH 465 / ENSCEN 467 / ENVIRON 467. Biogeochemical Cycles
MATH 116, CHEM 210, and PHYSICS 240 (or 260). (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F, W.

AOSS 474 / EARTH 474. Ice Sheets, Glaciers and Climate Change
MATH 115 and 116. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

They dynamics and mass balance of ice sheets and glaciers introduced along with mathematical theories describing how ice sheets and glaciers flow and current methods of observation.

AOSS 475 / EARTH 475 / ENSCEN 475. Earth System Interactions
Senior standing in science or engineering. (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Students will work on open-ended research problems with mathematical models from Earth System Science. The models may include, for example, surface characteristics, hydrology, solar-land-ocean-atmosphere exchanges, and space-based observations. Numerical experiments will promote further understanding and interpretation of earth system interactions, team building, and scientific communication.

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