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Brockport / Catalogs / 2013-14 / Courses / Undergraduate / Earth Science

Undergraduate Earth Science Courses

ESC 102 Elements of Geography (A). Seeks to understand how earth processes affect and are affected by human activities by describing and explaining physical environments and features of the earth. Includes tectonic processes that shape the earth; structure of the atmosphere and solid earth; hydrologic cycle and distribution of water; formation of landscapes and characterization of regions; location of political boundaries and physical features using maps; and human-environment interactions. Not acceptable credit towards any major or minor offered by the Department of the Earth Sciences. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

ESC 110 Weather (A,N). ESC 110 Weather. An introduction to scientific inquiry of how the atmosphere and weather behave. Assesses the basic elements controlling climate at different locations, and the physical explanations behind the development of the most important meteorological phenomena. Students who take ESC 211 do not earn credit for this course. Not acceptable credit towards any major or minor offered through the Department of the Earth Sciences. 3 Cr. Spring.

ESC 195 Natural Disasters (A,D,L). Examines the causes, effects, and options available to respond to and potentially mitigate the effects of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, landslides, severe weather, and floods. Differing impacts in developing and industrialized countries will be discussed. 4 Cr. Every Semester.

ESC 200 Introduction to Oceanography (A,N). Covers fundamental knowledge concerning the oceans, techniques and instruments utilized in the study of the oceans, and environmental problems relating to oceans and their resources. Lecture only. 3 Cr. Fall.

ESC 211 Introduction to Meteorology (A,L). An entry- level course for students wanting to learn about the atmosphere. It examines atmospheric parameters (temperatures, humidity, pressure, winds); the formation of clouds, rain and snow; middle-latitude cyclones and hurricanes; and the development of thunderstorms, lightning, hail and tornadoes. Basic weather forecasting, climate change, air pollution, and optical phenomena are also examined. Includes a laboratory component where students learn to analyze meteorological concepts, data, and maps. Students taking this course may not take ESC 110 for credit. 4 Cr. Every Semester.

ESC 212 Introduction to Meteorology Laboratory (A). . Prerequisites: ESC 210 and instructor’s permission. An introductory laboratory where students learn to analyze meteorological concepts, data, and maps. 1 Cr. Every Semester.

ESC 221 Introduction to Water Resources (A,N). Water is an essential element for many processes that occur on Earth, and is found naturally in all three states, solid, liquid and gas. Consequently, water is being realized as a critical resource that requires us to better understand water based processes. In this course, we will examine the components of the hydrologic cycle with respect to processes that occur in each component. 3 Cr. Spring.

ESC 222 Introduction to Water Resources w/Lab (A,L). Introduction to Water Resources will examine the components of the hydrologic cycle with respect to processes that occur within each component, processes that transfer water from one component to another, and human influence on these processes. A laboratory component will provide students the opportunity to explore applied aspects of the discipline through various ‘hands-on’ activities. Students will also be introduced to instrumentation and software that are used in upper division courses. There are no prerequisites for the course. 4 Cr. Spring.

ESC 230 Introduction to GIS (A). Prerequisite: Computer literacy. Examines the geographic and information data processing methods associated with earth systems science and human geography studies. Covers geographic data selection, analysis, and presentation. Requires use of real data to develop an individual hands-on study application. 3 Cr. Fall.

ESC 300 Physical Oceanography (A). Students will learn the chemical and physical processes that govern environments in oceans and nearshore areas, the geophysical and geological evidence that supports the theory of plate tectonics, the chemistry of seawater, and sediment movement. 3 Cr.

ESC 310 Radar and Satiellite Meteorology (A). Examines remote sensing devices and other meteorological instruments. Students learn the World Meteorological Organization’s standards for weather observation and the physical operating principles of radars, satellites, and in situ instruments. The laboratory component practices data collection and the interpretation of Doppler and polarimetric radar imagery, as well as RGB and multispectral satellite images. 4 Cr. Spring.

ESC 311 Synoptic Meteorology (A). Prerequisite: ESC 211 or equivalent; co-requisite MTH 201. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of mid-latitude weather systems via conceptual models and theoretical ideas. Covers meteorological data and analysis products, scales of atmospheric motion, kinematic properties of the wind field, fronts and frontogenesis, and extratropical cyclones and cyclogenesis. Lab emphasizes subjective/objective analysis and application of meteorological data. 4 Cr. Fall.

ESC 312 Weather Forecasting (A). Prerequisites: ESC 311 and MTH 201. Application of qualitative and theoretical concepts to the prediction of mid-latitude weather systems. Covers geostrophic and ageostrophis winds, upper-level jet streak dynamics, methods of computing vertical motion, quasi-geostrophic theory, quantitative evaluation and verification methods, and numerical weather prediction products. Lab emphasizes real-time diagnosis and prediction of local, regional, and large-scale weather systems. 4 Cr.

ESC 313 Environmental Climatology (A). Prerequisite: ESC 211 or BIO 303. Discusses the physical, chemical, and biological factors regulating the climate of the earth. Covers radiation and energy balance, climatic elements, atmospheric and oceanic circulations, natural and anthropogenic climate change and variations. 3 Cr. Spring.

ESC 314 Climatology Laboratory (A). Prerequisite: ESC 211. Prerequisite or co requisite: ESC 313. Covers principles and analytical techniques used to study global, regional and local climates. 1 Cr. Spring.

ESC 319 Biological Oceanography (A). Cross-listed as ENV 319. Prerequisite: ESC 200 or instructor's permission. Review of the ocean's physical, geological and chemical properties followed by study of the classification, biology and life history of marine animals and plants. Concludes with ecology of selected marine ecosystems such as intertidal, deep sea and coral reef. 3 Cr. By Arrangement.

ESC 325 Wetland Systems (A). Prerequisite: ESC 222 or permission of instructor. Covers the soils, plants, and hydrology that are characteristic of wetland systems; the history of attitudes towards and use of these areas; methods of classification of wetlands; legal and regulatory issues’ management and preservation strategies; and design and use of constructed wetlands. 3 Cr. Fall.

ESC 327 Broadcast Meteorology (A). Learn: 1) how to improve weather presentation skills by developing a plain language weather presentation and forecast using the National Weather Service Forecast Discussion and Model Output products; 2) the common meteorological terminology and concepts used in weather broadcasts; 30 how television viewers process weather information, and the reasoning skills associated with scientific information processing. 3 Cr. Fall.

ESC 330 Geographic Information Systems (A). Prerequisite: PC-computer literacy and GEL 201 or ESC 211, 350, and 391. Provides an introduction to the use of computer-geographic information systems (GIS). Examines the geographic and information data-processing methods associated with earth systems sciences studies. Covers geographic data selection analysis and presentation using spatial data-processing hardware and software techniques. Requires use of earth systems data to develop an individual hands-on study application. 4 Cr. Spring.

ESC 331 Cartography (B). Covers the methods and principles of designing maps for visualization, communication and analysis. Cover color, symbology, scale, projection and other cartographic principles. 3 Cr. Even Spring.

ESC 332 Air and Water Pollution (A). A course on air and water pollution. The course reviews the major constituents that make up air and water pollution, as well as their sources, sinks and environmental effects. The course introduces the mechanics of how pollutants are transported in air and water, including diffusion, advection and dispersion. 3 Cr. Even Fall.

ESC 350 Computational Methods in the Field Sciences (A). Prerequisites: ESC 211, ESC 222, or GEL 201, and at least MTH 122 or equivalent. Discusses methods of collecting, analyzing, and visualizing field data. Covers descriptive statistics, graphical techniques, data transformations, analysis of sequential and orientation data, parametric and non parametric hypothesis testing, correlation, and linear modeling. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

ESC 351 Laboratory Experiences in Scientific Programming (A). Prerequisite or corequisite: ESC 350. Provides laboratory activities concerning writing scientific computer programs in FORTRAN. Covers basic features of FORTRAN, including arithmetic computations, control structures, data files, array processing, and modular programming. Also familiarizes students with commonly used numerical methods in earth sciences. 1 Cr.

ESC 362 Climate Change & Global Warming Issues (A,I). Explores aspects of the global warming debate, including the present scientific understanding of climate change, uncertainties associated with future climate predictions, and how developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries perceive potential impacts of climate change. Assesses how science impacts and is impacted by politics. Not acceptable credit towards any major or minor offered through the Department of the Earth Sciences. 3 Cr. Odd Fall.

ESC 364 Water Resources Issues (A,I). Studies water and hydrologic perspectives on problems of politics, the economy, and the environment. Addresses issues involving water quality or supply by case studies ranging in scope from local to international. Requires participants to address and debate points of view in selected issues involving water resources. Not acceptable credit towards any major or minor offered through the Department of the Earth Sciences. 3 Cr. Fall.

ESC 391 Writing in the Earth Sciences (A). Prerequisites: ESC 211, ESC 222 or GEL 201 or instructor's permission. Covers style and the conventions of scientific writing including letters, memoranda, proposals, data reports, abstracts, as well as longer technical papers. Emphasizes style requirements of major professional earth science societies and their journals. 1 Cr. Every Semester.

ESC 399 Independent Study in Earth Science (A). Prerequisite: ESC 211, ESC 222 or GEL 201. To be defined in consultation with the instructor/sponsor prior to registration, in accordance with the procedures of the Office of Academic Advisement. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement.

ESC 412 Hydrology with Lab (A). . Prerequisites: ESC 222, ESC 350, ESC 391, MTH 201 or permission of instructor. Covers the water cycle, including precipitation, runoff, streams and lakes, ground water, and other hydrologic topics. Discusses the collection and analysis of hydrologic data, including gauging streams, well monitoring, and surveying. Weekly laboratory session. 4 Cr. Odd Fall.

ESC 415 Physical Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 312 , ESC 350, ESC 391, PHS 235, PHS 240, and MTH 202. Examines the principles of atmospheric thermodynamics, cloud microphysics, atmospheric radiation, and cloud electrification. 3 Cr. Odd Fall. 3 Cr. Odd Fall.

ESC 416 Thermodynamics and the Boundary Layer (A). Prerequisites: ESC 211, MTH 201 and PHS 235. Co-requisites: ESC 350, MTH 202, PHS 240. Focuses on atmospheric energy processes. Examines basic thermodynamic concepts including the importance of moisture and latent heat on atmospheric stability. Analysis of thermodynamic diagrams and indices, and their role in weather forecasting are discussed. Also explores the transfer processes of mass, energy, and momentum in the Planetary Boundary Layer, as well as other micrometeorology topics, such as atmospheric turbulence and fluxes. 3 Cr. Odd Spring.

ESC 417 Dynamic Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 312, ESC 350, PHS 235, MTH 202, and MTH 255 or PHS 332. A theoretical perspective of atmospheric motion. Covers mathematical tools and numerical methods as applied to the atmosphere, the development to the governing equations of motion and simplifications, introduction to wind relationships and the concepts of divergence, circulation, and vorticity. The theory of mid-latitude synoptic-scale motions is introduced. 3 Cr. Odd Spring.

ESC 420 Radar and Satellite Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 211, ESC 391, and at least MTH 122 or equivalent. Examines remote sensing devices and other meteorological instruments. Students lean the World Meteorological Organization’s standards for weather observation and the physical operating principles of radars, satellites, and in situ instruments. Multispectral and RGB composite satellite imagery are also studies. Laboratory component to practice data collection and the interpretation of Doppler and polarimetric radar imagery. 4 Cr. Even Spring.

ESC 421 Air Pollution Meteorology (A). Prerequisites or corequisites: ESC 350 and ESC 391. For students, engineers and professional people training to measure air pollution levels or measure and evaluate meteorological parameters which affect the diffusion and concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere. Provides knowledge of the effects of meteorology in air pollution. Covers factors related to site selection, control programs, and interpretation of surveys. Also studies diffusion using mathematical models. 3 Cr. Spring.

ESC 431 GIS Applications in Earth and Environmental Science (A). Prerequisite: ESC 230 or ESC 318 or permission of instructor. Introduces students to spatial analysis theories, techniques, and issues associated with hydrological, geological, meteorological and environmental applications. Provides hands-on training in the use of spatial tools while addressing a real problem. Students will link GIS analysis to field assessments and monitoring activities. 3 Cr. Spring.

ESC 432 Tropical Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 312 and ESC 391. Provides a comprehensive description of the characteristics of the atmosphere in the Tropics, as well as in-depth discussions on the weather systems and climatic patterns that affect and develop in tropical regions, such as hurricanes, monsoonal circulations, El Nino Southern Oscillation, convergence zones, and the Madden-Julian Oscillation. Students also conduct weather briefings on select tropical locations or active cyclones and analyze tropical data. 3 Cr. Even Fall.

ESC 452 Mesoscale Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 312, ESC 350, ECS 391, MTH 201 and PHS 235. A introduction to mesoscale processes and precipitation systems, with an emphasis on deep convection and severe weather. Covers severe storm type, structure, and organization, radar and satellite signatures of mesoscale and convection features, and the roles of atmospheric instabilities in the growth of mesoscale phenomena. Diagnosis and short-term prediction of severe storms via lecture and exercises. 3 Cr. Even Spring.

ESC 455 Introduction to Soils Science (A). Prerequisites: GEL 201, CHM 205, ESC 350 and ESC 391, or with instructor’s permission. The formation, properties and characterization of soils, especially those found in New York State; measurement of physical and chemical properties in field and classroom; management, conservation, and applications of Soil Survey. 3 Cr.

ESC 457 Marine Geology-Bahamas (A). Cross-listed as BIO 457. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Prepare in the fall semester for a two-week January intersession field experience in coral reef biology and geology on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. Study identification, behavior, and ecology of marine organisms in five habitats associated with coral reefs. Learn how to prepare a scientific field notebook and to design, conduct and write a paper on a personal research project. 3 Cr. Fall.

ESC 460 Meteorological Internship (A). Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Provides first-hand knowledge and experience concerning the application of meteorology to industrial and governmental requirements. Requires group work in scientific fields. Allows students to design and conduct applied meteorological research. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement.

ESC 462 Hydro Meteorology (A). Prerequisites: ESC 211, ESC 350, and MTH 201 or permission of instructor. The interface between meteorological and hydrological processes governs the impact that weather has on the human and natural environments. This course examines extreme weather events such as flooding, climate change, and urban heat island effects. Students will learn about the processes that govern them as well as the extent of their effects, their causes, and the models used to predict them. 3 Cr. Even Fall.

ESC 464 Environmental Internship (A). Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission. Application of skills acquired in course work to selected earth science problems in the environmental field. Directed by professionals in the field; project work must meet their standards. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement.

ESC 477 Storm Chasing (A). Prerequisite: ESC 211 and instructor’s permission. Students are taken on a two- week field experience course devised to study severe thunderstorms in the Great Plains of North America. It fosters the acquisition of practical, hands-on experience in the observation of thunderstorm formation, growth, decay, and structure as well as forecasting and nowcasting of severe weather. 3 Cr. Summer. 3 Cr. Summer.

ESC 490 Weather Briefing (A). Prerequisite: ESC 312. Familiarizes students with state-of-the-art weather analysis and forecasting systems. Provides for observation and presentation of weather briefings and forecasts using these products. 1 Cr. Fall.

ESC 493 Seminar in Earth Science Problems (A). Prerequisites: ESC 350 and ESC 391, senior status, and instructor’s permission. In depth consideration of an earth sciences topic beyond formal course offerings; synthesis of material from background of courses taken to be applied in a technical report. The report will also be presented in a critical, professional setting to faculty and students. 2 Cr. Every Semester.

ESC 494 Senior Research (A,Y). Prerequisites: ESC 350, ESC 391 and senior status. In depth consideration of an earth sciences topic beyond formal course offerings; development of a scientific research project. The project proposal, bibliographic research, and data collection will be developed both as written document and oral presentation in a critical, professional setting to faculty and students. 1 Cr. Every Semester.

ESC 495 Senior Seminar (A,Y). Prerequisites: ESC 494. In-depth consideration of an earth sciences topic beyond formal course offerings; completion of a scientific research project. The final project analysis and findings will be developed both as a written document and oral presentation in a critical, professional setting to faculty and students. 1 Cr. Every Semester.

ESC 499 Independent Study in Earth Science (A). Prerequisite: ESC 211, ESC 222 or GEL 201. To be defined in consultation with the instructor/sponsor prior to registration, in accordance with the procedures of the Office of Academic Advisement. 1-3 Cr. By Arrangement.