Syllabus for EAS-131



Introduction to Meteorology brings together geography, chemistry, physics, and other scientific disciplines. The course covers topics including meteorological elements, air masses, synoptic, regional, and local scale weather systems; severe weather; meteorological observation, instrumentation, and forecasting; aviation weather; agricultural meteorology; air pollution, global warming, climate change, and renewable energy applications.


  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Density
  • Atmosphere
  • Radiation
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Sphericity
  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • Sea Breezes
  • Santa Anas
  • Atmospheric moisture
  • Bringing air to saturation
  • Clouds
  • Stability
  • Buoyancy
  • Pressure gradient force (PGF)
  • Coriolis force
  • Frictional force
  • Centrifugal force
  • Atmospheric circulation
  • Fronts
  • Extratropical cyclones
  • Middle troposphere
  • Wind shear
  • Mountains influences on the atmosphere
  • Thunderstorms
  • Squall lines
  • Radar
  • Supercells
  • Tornadoes
  • Dry lines
  • Ocean’s influence on weather and climate
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Light and lighting
  • Prediction and predictability
  • The imperfect forecast


After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Demonstrate a working knowledge of meteorology vocabulary.

CO2        Describe and explain the origin, composition, structure, and behavior of the earth’s atmosphere.

CO3        Define radiation and explain the mechanisms of energy transfer by radiation, conduction, and convection.

CO4        Describe temperature, pressure, density, moisture, wind, and circulation as it relates to the earth’s atmosphere.

CO5        Identify what temperature really measures, why pressure decreases with height, and why density is often the overlooked crucial factor.

CO6        Describe the formation and life-cycle of a mid-latitude cyclone, its related fronts, and air masses.

CO7        Identify the meteorological variables in thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricane formation.

CO8        Describe the major cloud types, how they are classified, and the concepts of stability and instability.

CO9        Explain the impact that humans have on the atmospheric environment, and how the atmospheric environment affects human lives.

CO10        Apply the concepts of meteorological analysis to weather forecasting.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. (There is no textbook for this course.)

Video Programs

The video programs are being offered via streaming video technology through the course website. See the Video Playlist in the top section of the course space.


Introduction to Meteorology is a three-credit online course, consisting of eleven modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take module quizzes, and complete a final project. You will also be asked to keep a journal with entries associated with each module that will help prepare you for the module quizzes. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

Introduction to Meteorology requires you to participate in six graded discussion forums. There is also an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1. Located within the Evaluation Rubrics folder of the course website is the discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussion forums within this course.

For posting guidelines and help with discussion forums, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course website.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.

Each written assignment needs to be 5 pages (1250 to 1375 words) in length, not including references or diagrams, with 1.5 line spacing and 12-point Times New Roman or New Courier font. Please include references and diagrams if applicable. The references should follow the main text and any diagrams should be included in the body of the narrative.

The written assignments should contain (in this order):

  1. Title Page (not included in total pages)
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Narrative
  5. Summary
  6. References (not included in total pages)

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course website.

Module Quizzes

You are required to take eleven module quizzes (one per module). Module quizzes are based on the video lectures and the study guide supplied within each module.  

Each quiz will consist of 10 to 15 multiple-choice questions. You may take the quizzes multiple times for additional practice; the result of your most recent attempt will appear in your gradebook.

Consult the Course Calendar to see the recommended completion dates for the quizzes.

Final Project

The final project is a written report that should be 2000 to 2400 words (8 pages) in length, not including references, images, and graphs, and will be an opportunity to demonstrate and use what you have learned in this course.  

For this project, you will take an in-depth look at a discussion and analysis of a single notable weather instance that impacted a huge area of the eastern United States and Atlantic Ocean. The project is to be your own work and, as with all written submissions, will be submitted to the university’s automated plagiarism analysis computer tools.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course website.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > Citing Sources.)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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