AOSC818 (Spring 2012)

AOSC818: Frontiers in Atmosphere, Ocean, Climate, and Synoptic Meteorology Research

Enrollment Requirement

Atmospheric, oceanic, and/or climate sciences background is strongly recommended.

Course Description

The weekly seminars on atmospheric, oceanic, and climate sciences provide opportunities to be exposed to a wide range of contemporary topics in atmospheric, oceanic, and climate sciences for development of research interests and promotion of critical thinking. The Meet-the-Speaker session after each seminar fosters effective interaction and collaboration with leading scientists and fellow students.

Weekly Seminar Schedule

The AOSC Department Seminar is held every Thursday. Seminar information is available from AOSC Seminar Series.

Time and location

  • Th 3:00pm-3:30pm, CSS 2400 (Atrium), Pre-seminar refreshment
  • Th 3:30pm-4:30pm, CSS 2400 (Auditorium), Seminar
  • Th 4:45pm-5:15pm, CSS 3400 (Library), Meet-the-Speaker session


1. Self-evaluation report on in-class participation

Due in 2 days after each seminar through the web-based form. Participation is essential for each seminar and Meet-the-Speaker session. Asking questions at the seminar and actively interacting with the speakers at the Meet-the-Speaker session are very important and have additional grading points. For medically necessitated and other excused absences, it is student's responsibility to follow appropriate procedure so as not to negatively impact on grading. A make-up may be assigned for a missing seminar. Cheating on self-evaluation is strictly prohibited. Cheating on course assignments shall constitute academic dishonesty.

On the web-based form

The web-based form is available for submission only within 2 days after the seminar. Upon successful submission, you will find your name near the bottom of the webpage. Failure to submit the web-based form in a timely manner results zero participation point for the corresponding date. It is student's responsibility to submit the web-based form properly, except for obvious situations such as AOSC web-server outages for a significant period (more than 24 hours). Although no seminar is held on Thursday, January 26, 2012, this date is available to try out the web-based form. Any questions and comments on the web-based system must be addressed to the instructor by Tuesday, January 31, 2012. If you submit the report more than once, only the newest submission is used for grading.

2. Term report (max 3 pages)

Due on Thursday, May 17, 2012 via email. The term project aims to simulate a peer-review of scientific work. Critically evaluating science arguments is an essential skill as a scientist. Choose one of the seminars during the entire semester, conduct in-depth research on the work (reading at least 2 related papers), and develop your own scientific evaluation about the work. Term report (max 3 pages) should contain a concise summary of the work with a list of references that you actually read, your evaluation to the work, and the reasons for the evaluation. Reasoning must be scientific and objective. Grading is based on the quality of the summary, evaluation and reasoning. Term report exceeding 3 pages is graded only up to the first 3 pages. The title page and reference list are excluded from the page limit.

Instruction for the email submission

Term report in either pdf or Microsoft Word doc(x) format must be submitted by email with the subject line "AOSC818 Report". The instructor will acknowledge the receipt. It is student's responsibility to confirm the successful submission. Failure to submit by the due date results zero point for term report.

3. Additional assignments

may be requested by the speaker for some seminars.

4. Exception for irregularly scheduled seminars

Some seminars may be scheduled irregularly not on Thursday or at different time on Thursday. Participation to such irregularly scheduled seminars is strongly encouraged but not required. Self-evaluation report is not required or accepted. However, you can choose these seminars for the term report.

Honor Code

Students must abide by the University of Maryland Code of Academic Integrity. Here is the link to the Student Honor Council.


Grading of S-F is based on the participation to the seminar and Meet-the-Speaker session (65%) and the term report (35%). Active participation (asking questions, etc.) constitutes a third of the total participation points. Late submission of the reports results zero grading point for the corresponding part.

Grading criteria:
S: 70.00% -- 100.00%
F:  0.00% --  69.99%