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Introduction to Weather & Climate
GEO 1240-01 Fall 2017

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Weather & Climate 1240

Class - MWF - 9:00 - 9:50
Lab 1 - Tu- 10:00 - 11:50
Lab 2 - Tu- 12:00 - 13:50

Geog 1240, Section 01, 4 Credit Hours,

Class: Boebel 225
Labs 1 & 2: Boebel 227

Instructor: Dr. Todd Stradford Phone: 342-1674 E-mail: stradfot@uwplatt.edu
Office: 262 Gardner Office Hours Mailbox: 261 Gardner

Copies of Schedule here
Text: Aguado, Edward, and James E. Burt. Understanding Weather & Climate, 4th edition. Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2001.

Course Description:
This is a lecture science course designed to investigate the processes that take place in the atmosphere. Students develop a knowledge base about their physical environment in this area. This information leads to exploration of human dependence on, technological control over, and interactions with the environment.

NOTE: To start GEOG 1240, you MUST complete the following task (10 points) within the first 2 weeks. It is designed to make you familiar with the procedures you need to use D2L & the syllabus in this course.
1) Log into D2L using your campus username and password.
2) Find the syllabus which shows up as a link on the course page or under "content." Open the syllabus.
3) Open a new tab in your browser and open D2L again. Find "Quizzes" and the "Intro Quiz." Start the quiz. Leave the tab with the quiz open and use the tab with the syllabus to find the answers.
4) Complete the Intro Quiz and submit the answers.
5) Your grade should be posted under "grades." If you don't take and submit the quiz, your grade with not be posted but you will have earned "0" points.



This course assumes that students admitted to a university have the ability to read and write at a college level. Knowledge of high school level algebra and geometry is also helpful to understand course material. Number problems do not go beyond solving for single variables (find "x"), rates, and proportions. There are number problems to illustrate concepts such as "Relative Humidity" which is expressed as a percent.

Lab supplies: ruler, calculator, red & blue colored pencils.
Failure to have lab equipment for lab will bring about a 2 point deduction from your grade. Phone calculators are not permitted on exams!!

Final Exam: Monday, December 18, 10:00 AM- 11:50 AM - Final Exam Schedule

Course Objectives:

  1. To define the various elements that make up weather and climate.
  2. To demonstrate the various processes involved in weather and climate.
  3. To gain a familiarity with and appreciation for different areas of the world with respect to varieties of weather and climate.
  4. To integrate these geographic concepts and facts to appreciate the impact that they have on humans.
From the manual:
  • "The purpose of studying the natural sciences is to help students understand nature and how the processes of scientific investigation lead to new discoveries. A course meeting liberal arts requirements in natural sciences is designed to enable students to: discover the patterns, principles, and dynamics of natural phenomena and relate them to issues in their lives as citizens; comprehend scientific methodology and its limitations; engage in the analysis of natural phenomena."

Assessment & Evaluation:

3 EXAMS 100 points each 300 points  
4 Lab Tests 50 points each 200 points  
1 FINAL 150 points 150 points  
Cloud quizzes 10-20 points +  
15 D2L Reading quizzes 10 points each 150 points  
5 D2L Homework 10 points each 50 points  
  Total 850+ points  
Letter Grades: A- to A >765 points > 90%
  B- to B+ 680-764 80 to 89%
  C- to C+ 595-679 70 to 79%
  D to D+ 510-594 60 to 69%
  F Below 510 < 60%



The examinations will cover
1) mainly material from class (your notes)
2) but also textbook material, whether covered in class or not.
Exams may have multiple choice, fill in the blanks, short definitions, essays, calculations, or sketching diagrams.

Lab Tests:

The labs themselves will not be graded. However, all material on labs is tested after every 3 labs.

This would include:
the problems you did on the lab,
the vocabulary on the lab, and
the explanations on the lab.

Simply writing the answer down on the lab in a group effort doesn't mean that you know it. Make sure you know it and not just your lab neighbor! Lab tests are NOT multiple choice, so know the terms and methods!

Anyone who has a VISA and needs extra time or facilities will take examinations in the C.A.T. and must bring in the appropriate paperwork at least 2 days prior to each exam (as per the instructions for the VISA and C.A.T.). Failure to do so will result in taking the examination in class with everyone else.

The Final Examination will have 100 points on the material since the 3rd examination and 50 points of comprehensive questions over past class and lab material. If you learn as you go, the comprehensive section will be easy. If you don't learn the material either before each examination (poor grade), or after the examination (using the exam to see what you didn't know), then the entire last section will be difficult, not just the comprehensive. The course is cumulative in nature which means that to move to a new topic, the past topic(s) must be understood. The cumulative section is over ALL material: labs & class.

D2L quizzes:

You have several days to several weeks to complete the online quizzes. Therefore, there is no makeup or extension for any reason. As soon as 5 PM of the day it's due is reached, D2L will turn the quiz off. If you put it off until the last minute and make mistakes or your computer dies, that is your decision. Quiz rules are also given on D2L.

The chapter quizzes are under "Quizzes" in D2L. Each quiz is worth 10 points.

You get two attempts on each quiz. However, you must score at least a 60% on the first attempt to earn a second attempt. The highest score of the 2 attempts is your assigned grade. If you get less than 60% on the first attempt that is your grade, so be sure to review the text before you start. If you leave a question unanswered in the hopes of an easier one on the next attempt but don't make the 60%, the grade you submit will be final.

Read the chapter first! It makes getting 60% or better easier. For all quizzes, you have to get a 60 or better to get a second attempt.

You have 12 minutes to complete each quiz attempt. Students with a VISA can request time to match their VISA.

The quiz will not be graded after 5 PM on the day that it's due. Putting the quiz off until just before it's due and then having computer problems is NOT an excuse to continue after 5 PM so don't ask. Answers submitted before the 5 PM deadline will be counted, so if you're close, don't wait until you finish to submit them all at once.

Two quizzes are open at any given time. If you plan you can get ahead if needed. There is therefore no excuse to have a quiz reopened for you if you miss a deadline after you've had up to 2 weeks to complete it..

Answers submitted after 5 PM or your 12 minute time limit are not graded.


Homework assignments are found under "Quizzes" on D2L Their availability and due dates are listed there as well as on the syllabus.

Homework has a 45 minute time limit once begun. However, if you start 20 minutes before 5 PM of the day that it's due, it will stop at 5 PM.

Makeup Examinations:

  • There will be NO makeup examinations .
  • There are No quiz makeups.
  • Late homework will NOT be accepted.
  • If you have to miss an exam or a map test with a valid reason, you must let me know before the test.
  • I also must have a written verification of your reason for missing from the appropriate person before I can consider a make-up exam or test.
  • All make-up exams will be essay in format. There will be no makeups for a reading assignment quiz.
  • Makeup examinations must be completed within 1 week of the scheduled exam.


The reading assignment is given on the syllabus. The day that the assignment is listed is the day BY which it should be read.


  • You are expected to attend class and are responsible for material that is presented in class. Examinations will emphasize what is covered in class. The D2L quizzes are over the text readings. The Homework on D2L is just skills review.
  • Although there are no points assigned for attendance, it will be taken daily by a seating chart. Faculty are now required to report to a student's advisor anyone with frequent absenses or who is not completing assignments. Attendance is therefore taken sporadically.
  • Anyone who leaves early from a lab without finishing the lab and/or consulting the instructor will forfeit 10 points on the next lab exam (You will start with 40 out of 50 points). People who skip entire labs have been known to get 0 on the lab test so in this case no extra penalty is applied ("0" is as low as you can get).

Final Grade:

To pass the course you will need a total average of more than 60%.
Graduating seniors who wish to have the final exam waived would need to have a 90% or greater average after taking an early Lab 4 exam, either after the last lab or on the Friday before finals week. (The Lab 4 exam is not waived).

* Note: I do not curve final grades. I also do not give grades. Your final grade in this class will be based on what you have earned.

I am more than happy to discuss your overall grade or a grade you earned on a specific assignment. However, I will not do so via email. If you would like to discuss your grade, please come and see me in person during office hours or make an appointment.

Cell Phones: Cell phones should be silent in class. If your "vibration mode" is louder than your ringer, just turn the phone off. If a phone is SEEN being used after 9 AM, the following paragraph is in effect:

Any phone or communication device that is heard or seen being used including ipads and notebooks (texting/email) in class will require the owner to bring treats for the entire class to the next class. .Failure to do so will forfeit 10 homework points from whatever the total (0 > -10).

Academic Calendar

American Meteorology Society Glossary pages

Tentative Outline and Reading Assignments: (NOTE: Schedule/subjects may change)

Daily Reading Assignment
September-M 4   Labor Day      
Tu 5
  Syllabus   Intro Quiz Introduction
W 6
F 8
  2 Earth and the Atmosphere (Chapter 1)
M 11
Tu 12
Earth in Space-Atmosphere
W 13
F 15
M 18
    6 Energy and Temperature (Chapter 3)
Tu 19
W 20
  Humidity   7    
F 22
M 25
  9 Hmwk 1  
Tu 26
W 27
  10 Atmospheric Moisture (Chap. 5)
F 29
October - M 2
Relative Humidity   12    
Tu 3
 Exam 1
  Lab Test 1
W 4
 Clouds & Symbols
Cloud Pix
  13 Cloud Development and Forms (Chapter 6)
F 6
M 9
 Cloud Tutorial
Cloud Quiz
  15 Precipitation (Chapter 7)
Tu 10
W 11
Winds   16 Atmospheric Pressure & Wind (Chapter 4)
F 13
M 16
 Coriolis Force   18 Global Pressure & Winds (Chapter 8)
Tu 17
Pressure & Wind
W 18
Coriolis 2   19    
F 20
Fall Break
M 23
Jet Streams   20 Quiz 9
Air Masses & Fronts (Chapter 9)
Tu 24
Weather Maps
W 25
F 27
    22 Quiz 10
Mid-latitude Cyclones (Chapter 10)
M 30
Fronts (Warm Fronts)
(Cold Fronts
Tu 31
Exam 2
 Lab Test 2
November - W 1
Thunder & Lightning    24 Hmwk 3  
F 3
Drawing Fronts   25 Quiz 11
Thunderstorms & Tornadoes (Chapter 11)
M 6
Tu 7
W 8
F 10
M 13
 Tornadoes   29    
Tu 14
W 15
F 17
    31 Quiz 12
 Hurricanes (Chapter 12)
M 20
Hurricanes   32    
Tu 21
W 22
F 24
 Thanksgiving Break
After 5 PM Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday
M 27
Tu 28
 Exam 3
 Lab Test 3
W 29
Global Climates (Chapter 15)
December - F 1
World Climate Map  
M 4
 Climate Classification  
Tu 5
W 6
  Belt Shifts   38    
F 8
  39 Climate Change (Chapter 16)
M 11
Tu 12
W 13
Climate Koppen Self Quiz   41    
F 15
 Last class    42   Summary
Mon, Dec 18
Final Examination & Lab Test 4
10:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Intro Meteorology Modules - Earth-Sun Geometry, Radiation, Climate Controls, Moisture, & Hurricanes. (These may not run on university machines, but should run on your own PC or Mac).

Religious Observances
"Students have the right to miss class for religious observances. Students wishing time off for this reason should let the instructor know within the first two days of class."

"If you need an accommodation due to a disability, please make an appointment to see me during my office hours. A VISA from Services for Students with Disabilities authorizing your accommodations will be needed. Contact 608-342-1818 for more information about SSWD."

Academic and Career Advising Center
Academic and career counselors provide academic advising for undecided majors and assist students in determining potential majors that fit their skills, interests, value, and personality. The ACAC team provides career services to students and alumni looking for internship, co-op, full-time and other employment opportunities. Career services include assisting with résumés and cover letters, hosting annual career fairs, developing interviewing skills, and answering other job-search questions. Please stop by 0200 Ullsvik Hall or call ACAC at 608-342-1183 to schedule an appointment with an academic and career counselor.

Materials for this course can be found in Desire2Learn. To access Desire2Learn, go to www.uwplatt.edu/Desire2learn. Click the Log In with NetID button and enter your username and password (the same that you use for email). Courses are arranged in order by semester. Scroll down the page to locate this course and click on the link. Course materials can be found by clicking on the Content link. If you need assistance with Desire2Learn, please contact the Helpdesk - 608.342.1400 or email helpdesk@uwplatt.edu.

For International Students
U.S. federal regulations state that all international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must register and maintain a full-course of study (12 credits for undergraduates and 9 credits for graduate students) during the fall and spring semesters. Prior to dropping below full-time status, international students should consult the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) Office in Royce Hall (first floor) or call 608-342-1852 if they are experiencing difficulties maintaining a full-time course load. Visit www3.uwplatt.edu/isss for more information.

Karrmann Library
Your library provides free access to scholarly and peer-reviewed online and printed resources. Librarians are skilled in helping you critically evaluate materials, narrow the focus of your research, and find just what you need--within library walls and around the world. Visit our website at: www.uwplatt.edu/library

PATH (formerly FYE Office)
If you need assistance with test-taking strategies, managing your schedule, study tips, and/or finding ways to enhance your college experience, please contact the PATH office in 120 Brigham Hall or via phone (342-1081) or e-mail pathcenter@uwplatt.edu.

Student Support Services
This is a federally funded TRiO program through the US Department of Education. We provide a variety of free support services to help our participants become successful college graduates. Some of our popular services are free tutoring, academic coaching, study skills, FAFSA completion, course selection, and scholarship searching. Students must meet at least one of these criteria for our free services: 1) be a first-generation college student, 2) be an income-eligible student, or 3) be a student with a documented disability. Contact us at 105 Warner Hall or 608-342-1816.

Undergraduate research (including creative activity and scholarship) is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate in collaboration with a faculty mentor to make an original intellectual contribution to the discipline. Visit or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors at 515 Pioneer Tower or urce@uwplatt.edu for more information on research opportunities or URCE activities.

ACADEMIC SUPPORT PROGRAMS offers free services to UW-Platteville students to help them succeed.
Qualified student tutors in Tutoring Services and the Writing Center (WATR) help students become more confident and effective learners and writers in a relaxed, peer-to-peer environment.
An Academic Coach gives students a one-on-one connection with a campus professional and the opportunity to develop skills that will help them succeed in college, such as using a planner, studying effectively, or managing test anxiety. An Academic Coach can also refer students to other campus resources suited to their needs.
Please visit https://www.uwplatt.edu/academic-support to learn more about these services. You can also call (608) 342-1081 or visit 3rd floor Brigham Hall for more information.

If you need tutoring for this class, contact Writing and Tutoring Resources (WATR) at 608.342.1615 or visit 314 Brigham Hall. Tutoring is either free (Writing Center) or the cost is minimal ($1.50/hr).

Wright Center for Non-Traditional and Veteran Students
Veteran and reserve duty military students with special circumstances are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor. For more information, contact the Wright Center, 320 Royce Hall, 608-342-7351.