Instructor: Dr. Nolan Atkins
Office: ASAC 306
Phone: ext. 6238

Office Hours: M-F 10:00 - 11:00 am
  or by appt.

If I'm in the office, please stop by, I have an open door policy

Course prerequisites: 1. High School Physics or PHY 2031
  2. Co-enrollment in MAT 1410 or higher

Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course you will:

  1. have an increased understanding of the basic physical processes that create our weather (ATM outcome #1)
  2. have learned some basic principles of weather forecasting. (ATM outcome #1)
  3. have further developed critical thinking and problem solving skills. (ATM outcome #2)

Required text: Meteorology Today. An introduction to weather, climate, and the environment, by C. Donald Ahrens

It's available in the book store


The material covered in homework assignments and exams will come from the reading assignments in the text and the lecture material covered in class. Material covered in the reading assignments will substantially overlap with the lecture material, however, I will expand upon some subjects and will cover some topics not discussed in the text. Some topics discussed in the text will not be covered in class. You will be responsible for those topics. The format of the exams will be multiple choice, true-false, and short essay questions.

I highly encourage in-class participation. It can make a difference in your grade, particularly if you are on the border between two grades. For example, if you have a B+ for a final grade and have participated in class a lot, I will likely give you an A-.

As you take exams, and turn in homework during the course of the semester, I will have calculated your "grade-to-date". Your grade-to-date represents what your final grade would be at any particular time during the semester. It is a good indicator of your current course grade and can be used to determine how you are doing in the course.

You are also required to enroll in one of the MET1211L lab sections.


Grading Breakdown:  
Exams 60%
Homework Assignments 40%


Grades for all exams, homework assignments, and labs will be based on the following scale:

90-100% A

80-89% B

70-79% C

60-69% D

50-59% F

Homework Assignments:

A home work assignment will be given for each chapter that we cover during the semester.  The homework assignment for a given chapter will problems for you to solve. They will test your knowledge of the material covered in the chapter currently being covered.  I'll say more about this type of homework assignment later.

Due dates for homework and exam dates will be announced in class.

Makeup and late homework assignments: There will be no makeup exams. If you miss one of the exams during the semester, the others will be weighed greater when determining your final grade.  However, you MUST have a legitimate excuse for missing an exam.  Please see me to clarify what is a legitimate excuse.  All homework assignments MUST be turned in on time, no credit will be given to late assignments.  An assignment is considered late if it is turned in 10 minutes after the start of class the day it is due.

Homework Policy: You will be allowed to drop your lowest homework score. All other homework scores count towards your final grade. This includes homework assignments not turned in. Missed homework assignments will count as a 0.

Academic Honesty: As per Lyndon State College Catalog

Attendance and Classroom Conduct: It is your responsibility to attend class. If you need to miss class for some legitimate reason, please let me know of your upcoming absence and you will be excused from the lecture. I will not be taking attendance, though if I have documented that you have missed more than 4 lectures (unexcused), you will fail the course. Our classes encourage discussion in a respectful manner.  Any unruly classroom conduct is not acceptable. This includes excessive noise or physical activity. If such behavior becomes apparent, you will be asked to leave the classroom and will receive an F for the course.

Use of Computers in Class: At times, I will ask you to log on and pull up weather related information during class.  Otherwise, please log off of the computer system.  I do not recommend logging on and accessing Facebook or any other web materials during class.

Software you will learn about in this class: Specialized computer software exists to display and manipulate weather data. In this class, you will be exposed to:

  3. possibly Sim AWIPs.

Survey of Meteorology Home Page: Currently a home page on the World Wide Web exists for Survey of Meteorology. The URL is: This web site contains the syllabus, lecture notes, homework assignments, current information about the class, and questions regarding key concepts discussed in class. These questions can be used as a study guide for the quizzes and exams. It will also contain other relevant links to other web sites around the country.

Lecture Format: The format of the class periods will be as follows. There will be approximately four class periods for each chapter. At the beginning of each class, I will present a short weather briefing for the current weather around the country.  The weather briefing will begin with observing our current weather on the observation deck. 

Graphing Calculators: Can be used to solve homework problems. However, they can not be used during exams. Please make sure you have a non programmable calculator for exams. 

Reasonable Accommodation statement:   Students with disabilities who request accommodations are asked to provide a certification letter within the first two weeks of class. Students should contact Mary Etter, Learning Specialist, in the Academic Support office  to arrange for the appropriate letter to be sent.

Policy on portable electronic devices: Unless it is critical to your survival, all portable electronic devices must be turned off during class. No smart phones may be on during exams.

The bottom line: If you don't pass this class, you can't take Survey II in the spring. You would have to retake Survey I next fall and Survey II the following spring. This will add an additional year to your college education and potential debt load.

I have high expectations of your work and work ethic. You should expect the same from me.