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Is your OLLI offering a meteorology or climatology class?

Posted on June 1st, 2011 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Maralie BeLonge, OLLI at the University of New Mexico, Asks OLLI:

Is your OLLI offering a meteorology or climatology class? If so, would you share the course description and/or syllabus? If you would, you can paste the course description in your Ask OLLI reply and/or email a syllabus to kallen@usm.maine.edu.

5 Responses to “Is your OLLI offering a meteorology or climatology class?”


  1. OLLI @ OSU is offering a class in Tulsa this summer: Forecasting Oklahoma Weather, the instructor is a popular weatherman in the Tulsa area and he’s very excited about teaching for OLLI: Can a close analysis of the historical record determine weather trends and
    improve forecasts? Join KOTV6’s broadcast meteorologist Dick Faurot
    for insight into the factors that lead to severe local storms, both tornadic
    and non-tornadic. A member of the American Meteorological Society and
    National Weather Association, Faurot has more than 35 years’ experience
    in the weather industry. Faurot currently anchors the weekend weathercasts
    on Tulsa’s News On 6, as well as the noon show three days a week.


  2. A few years ago we offered this course taught by the chief meteorologist at a local TV station.
    Understanding Weather
    Weather is defined as the state of the atmosphere at any given time. It dominates headlines on every newscast and is a common topic of conversation in our daily lives. So how does weather work and how is a forecast put together? Gain a better understanding of various types of weather, such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and winter storms. Find out what causes certain types of weather and how Pittsburgh’s geography plays a role in the kind of weather we see from one season to the next. We will visit KDKA-TV to observe the art of weather broadcasting on local television.
    The course met one day a week for five weeks.


  3. Hi Maralie,

    You asked for class descriptions to be posted. From Fall 06 to the coming fall, we have offered 4 courses concerned with climatology. These are copied from our catalogs below:
    WHAT IS THE WEATHER?
    Jerry Clifford, Ph.D.
    Fridays, 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M., August 25 – October 13 (BT1302)

    This course introduces you to the concepts behind that daily question “What is the Weather?”. We look at the major players in our planet’s weather machine. We discover the underlying principles to weather systems. You may not become any better at predicting tomorrow’s weather, but you will understand more about the weather channel’s forecast. When in doubt, take an umbrella!

    Jerry Clifford has spent over thirty years as an educator after receiving a Ph.D. in nuclear physics at Iowa State University’s Institute for Atomic Research. He worked on nuclear weapons programs, studied particle beams for Reagan’s Star Wars, and worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Jerry taught physics at a half dozen universities and won awards for his enthusiastic, motivational classes. He now teaches physics and astronomy at CSUCI.

    CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE 21ST CENTURY
    Simone Aloisio, Ph.D.

    Climate change has become one of the most publicized scientific topics in the past decade. The global scale of the issue, uncertainty of its impacts, and the range of opinions on what people can and should do about the problem have stirred discussion, if not made it a polarizing issue. Much has been learned in the past two decades about the issue. We examine climate change from a scientific perspective. We discuss observations of the climate during the past century, examine what human and natural forces drive the climate towards change, compare changes in our current global climate to what we know has occurred in the past, and take a look at what is projected for the climate in the next century. We discuss what the largest uncertainties are in future climate projections are, as well as look at alternative views on the global warming issue. Finally, we discuss the potential impacts of climate change on the environment (including on humans), as well as mitigation strategies. While we discuss these issues from a scientific basis, it is at a general level that everyone can understand.

    Simone Aloisio is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at CSUCI. He received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University in 2000. He has taught each semester since CSUCI opened, and offered a very popular course in OLLI’s inaugural session.

    CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE OCEANS

    We address global change issues in relation to the ocean. The marine carbon cycle is an essential component of the global carbon cycle and the ocean has already taken up 30% of the additional CO2. The resulting decrease of the pH will seriously impact organisms from corals to plankton, organisms that rely on calcium. The change in temperature, layering of the ocean, and nutrient dynamics will change species composition as well as the processes which are responsible for the uptake of carbon by the ocean, or the biological pump. We also talk about measures, like iron fertilization, that may help counteract climate change by large scale engineering of our environment. We discuss advantages and dangers, as well as social and moral implications of such measures.

    Uta Passow, Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography, is a researcher and lecturer at UC Santa Barbara and at the AWI for Polar and Marine Research, Germany. Her research focuses on the functioning of marine ecosystems, carbon flux, and, more recently, on marine global climate change. During research expeditions on research vessels she has collected samples in all oceans.

    FUNDAMENTALS OF EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE

    Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Date: Wednesdays, August 24 – October 12

    Discover the formation, composition, structure, and driving forces of Earth’s atmosphere. What causes extreme weather? Just why is the sky blue? Ever wonder what causes our local Santa Ana winds? Or why you never can reach a rainbow? From hurricanes and lightning to ice ages and the greenhouse effect, we will cover the fundamental aspects of the thermodynamics, radiation, chemistry and dynamics of our atmospheric environment. We will learn about cloud formation, general circulation patterns and study human contributions to our atmosphere through air pollution and impacts on the global carbon budget. This course will also explore the feedbacks between components of the climate system that give rise to phenomena such as El Nino, and play a profound role in the balance in our climate system.

    Katrina Hales-Garcia, Ph.D., is currently a research scientist at UCLA with interests in paleoclimate, biosphere-atmosphere interactions, hierarchical modeling, and tropical precipitation dynamics. She earned her Ph.D./M.S. in atmospheric dynamics from the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at UCLA and B.S. in geophysics from UC Berkeley.


  4. About once a year a local meteorologist leads a class for us too. He has a wonderful personality, so it’s always a big draw. We call it “How Weather is Made” Here’s our most recent description: Why does good weather occur in a high pressure area and bad weather in a low pressure area? Why does weather occur in the troposphere? Why does there seem to be more hurricanes in the last few years? In this class, led by Channel 25 meteorologist, Mark Torregrossa, we will learn how weather is made. We will examine how the sun heats different parts of the earth and the impact on land and water; the impact of low and high pressure fronts; and learn about websites that will help you to better understand and predict weather.


  5. We love our weather classes. Our instructor is the retired head of the National Weather Center for our area. He titles his classes around destructive weather patterns to draw people into the class. Hurricans, Tornados, Ice storms. Attendance fluctuates literally with the weather…if it is a bad hurricane season, more people sign up for his class. Crazy tornados more people sign up for his class…

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