Jun 04, 2023  
2019-2020 SLCC General Catalog 

Atmospheric Sciences: AS

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 Associate of Science | 61 credits 

Natural Sciences & Engineering Division
Taylorsville Redwood Campus
SI 241
General Information 801-957-4073
Program Information 801-957-4177
Program Website
Academic and Career Advising

Program Faculty
Maura Hahnenberger, Adam Dastrup

Program Description
Atmospheric Sciences seeks to understand the behavior and predictability of the Earth’s atmosphere. The Atmospheric Sciences degree program combines courses in meteorology, climate science, mountain weather, air pollution, and other topics with a foundation in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The aim of this program is to provide a sufficient academic background to transfer to BS programs in atmospheric sciences or meteorology and begin the development of skills, knowledge, and abilities for variety of employment opportunities. Upon transfer to a 4-year institution and completion of a BS in atmospheric sciences or meteorology students will be qualified for employment in such positions as National Weather Service forecaster, U.S. Air Force weather officer, broadcast meteorologist, or entrance into MS or PhD graduate programs in the atmospheric or related environmental sciences.

Career Opportunities
Understanding and practice of Atmospheric Sciences is applicable to numerous 4 year degree programs and careers. Students who complete the AS Atmospheric Sciences will be well prepared to move into 4 year degree programs in Atmospheric Sciences, Meteorology, Climate Science, Environmental Studies/Science, Earth System Science, Geography, Hydrologic Sciences, Applied Physics, and Secondary Science Teaching. Further, this degree will prepare students for 4 year degrees leading to careers in government (e.g. National Weather Service forecaster, Division of Air Quality scientist), military (e.g. weather officer, aviation engineer), private industry (e.g. operational weather forecaster, climate risk analyst), media (e.g. TV meteorologist, environmental reporter), and research science (e.g. atmospheric scientist, climate scientist).

Transfer/Articulation Information
The program is designed for transfer to the BS Atmospheric Sciences program at the University of Utah. However, requirements are subject to change so it is recommended that students contact an academic advisor for the department and institution into which they plan to transfer. Further, completion of the AS Atmospheric Sciences does not guarantee admission into the Atmospheric Sciences program at the University of Utah or any other program or institution.

Estimated Cost for Students
Tuition and student fees: http://www.slcc.edu/student/financial/tuition-fees.aspx

Estimated Time to Completion
If students follow the suggested semester schedules, and have completed necessary prerequisites or placement for MATH 1210 Calculus I (QL) , time to completion is four to six semesters. Students not able to take MATH 1210 Calculus I (QL)  their first semester may require additional courses and time for completion.

Program Student Learning Outcomes Related College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes

1 - Acquire substantive knowledge
2 - Communicate effectively
3 - Develop quantitative literacies
4 - Think critically & creatively
5 - Become a community engaged learner
6 - Work in professional & constructive manner
7 - Develop computer & information literacy
8 - Develop lifelong wellness

Apply the fundamentals of the atmosphere to analysis and prediction of severe weather, including but not limited to:

  • Analyze weather maps, synthesize data, and formulate predictions.
  • Explain the relevance of severe weather to human societies.
  • Discriminate conditions leading to a variety of severe weather types.
  • Collect relevant and reliable meteorological data to solve problems.

1, 3, 4, 7

Investigate natural and human induced variations in Earth’s climate system, including but not limited to:

  • Model the essential components of the Earth-Climate system.
  • Collect, interpret, analyze, and draw conclusion from climate data.
  • Synthesize climate impacts on human and natural systems.
  • Justify potential mitigations for or adaptations to climate change.

1, 3, 4, 7, 8

Apply basic principles of chemistry and meteorology to the chemical composition of Earth’s atmosphere, including but not limited to:

  • Model how natural and human factors determine air quality.
  • Diagram chemical and physical processes in the atmosphere.
  • Evaluate human health impacts of different air pollutants.
  • Predict pollutant concentrations based on collected data

1, 3, 4, 7, 8

Analyze the influence of mountains on weather and climate, and resulting societal impacts, including but not limited to:

  • Model how Utah’s topography control local and regional climate.
  • Predict mountain weather by collecting and analyzing data.
  • Design and implement an effective research methodology.
  • Draw conclusions and new questions from analyzed data.

1, 3, 4, 6, 7

Communicate knowledge of atmospheric science to varied audiences using multiple communication techniques, including but not limited

  • Analyze and describe weather phenomena using multi-media formats.
  • Apply knowledge to serve and fulfill an identified community need.
  • Communicate climate impacts from an outside perspective.
  • Professionally present a research project orally and visually.

1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7

Develop basic skills in math, chemistry, and physics, and apply them to understanding of the atmosphere, including, but not limited to:

  • Implement the basic concepts of calculus to solve problems.
  • Explore the fundamentals of inorganic chemistry.
  • Utilize calculus in the study of physics, mechanics, & Newton’s laws.
  • Analyze meteorological data using statistical techniques.

1, 3, 4

Communicate effectively, including but not limited to:
Students will communicate on topics related to the atmospheric sciences, math, physics, and chemistry in a manner that is professional and effective. Students will communicate orally in formal and informal settings, in writing to a variety of audiences, visually to professional standards, and in other manners as appropriate.


Develop quantitative literacies, including but not limited to:
Students will apply quantitative skills to the topics of atmospheric sciences, math, physics, and chemistry. Students will collect data and analyze it using quantitative skills including statistical methods, graphing, mapping, and visualizations.


Think critically & creatively, including but not limited to:
Students will recognize, interpret, and solve problems related to atmospheric sciences, math, physics, and chemistry. Students will apply knowledge to real world problems and combine data and information from multiple fields of knowledge to develop and justify solutions.


Become a community engaged learner, including but not limited to:
Students will recognize the impact of the atmospheric sciences on local, national, international, and global communities. Students will explore how environmental justice can be applied to solutions to weather and climate problems. Students will respond to an identified community need with a service project using their skills and abilities.


Work in professional & constructive manner, including but not limited to:
Students will work with others to solve problems on topics of atmospheric sciences, math, physics, and chemistry. Students will coordinate a multi-step group project and produce professional scientific results that they can be communicated effectively.


Develop computer & information literacy, including but not limited to:
Students will collect information and data related to the atmospheric sciences from relevant and appropriate sources, and reference their sources correctly. Students will analyze atmospheric sciences data using computer software and produce effective graphs or visualizations to communicate their results.


General Education Requirements

Core Skills

Quantitative Literacy (QL) 1 course

American Institutions (AI) 1 course

Institutional Requirements

Communication (CM) 1 course

International & Global (IG) 1 course

Lifelong Wellness (LW) 1 course

Distribution Areas

1 course from each of the Distribution Areas, 5 total courses; 1 course must also be designated as DIVERSITY (DV)

NOTE Physical Science (PS) is satisfied through pre-major coursework.

The following courses are recommended to fulfill (HU) and (LS) requirements: PHIL 2300  (HU) and BIOL 1400  / BIOL 1405  (LS).

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