Centralia College


  Lecture: SCIE 115A4 (5) 9-9:50am MTWTh NSC 101 Pringle (web enhanced)
Lab:  SCIE 115LA (0) 1-2:50pm Th NSC 105 Pringle
Lab:  SCIE 115LB (0) 3-4:50pm Th NSC 105 Pringle

Spring Quarter 2014


Instructor:      Patrick Pringle             E-mail:            ppringle 'at' centralia.edu

Office:         NSC 318-F; 360-736-9391  x-550

                 from Olympia (toll free): 753-3433  x550

Please do not call my office number unless you plan to leave a message if you don’t reach me!

Office Hours: see my class schedule --or by appointment

Lecture:         MTWTh 11:00-11:50           NSC 101

Labs:              115LA Thursday: 1-2:50; 115LB  and Thursday 3-4:30   …in NSC 105 or arranged

=> Go back to the class web page for the class schedule as well as reading and other assignments; This page will be updated throughout the course, so please check it regularly.
Course Logistics: This class will use CANVAS for nearly all communications and submission of assignments.

Check resources link on Earth Sciences at Centralia College homepage for useful links 


Welcome to Weather and Climate (SCIE 115) !

TEXT : Essentials of Meteorology, 6th Edition (2012), by C. Donald Ahrens;  ISBN: 9780840049339

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Study of the earth’s atmosphere and climate; including solar radiation, condensation, winds, air masses, fronts and storms. Experience will be provided in weather map interpretation, use of instruments, and forecasting for our region. Field trip to U.S. Weather Service station or visit on the internet is included. Lab fee $27.22

COURSE OVERVIEW:  This course will provide a basic introduction to weather and climate, the composition and structure of the atmosphere, and the major elements of weather including temperature, pressure, humidity, clouds, winds, and storms.  We will look at the driving forces that operate in the atmosphere and the mechanisms and linkages and interconnected Earth systems that produce precipitation, severe weather, weather-generated hydrologic and geologic activity, and long-period weather cycles like El Nino/Enso and Pacific Decadal Oscillation.  We'll touch on air pollution topics, and conclude with a discussion of global climate, paleoclimate, and the effects of past climate on ecological systems and human history, and the prospects for climate change.

COURSE SCHEDULE:  We will be covering the topics in the Table of Contents more or less in sequence. Weekly lecture topics, reading assignments, homework and project due dates, and test dates will be announced in advance as we go along.  If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out if any schedule changes have been announced!

QUIZZES: There will be occasional quizzes. These will be based on reading assignments and will count no more than 10% of your grade.

MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS AND PROJECTS: There will be a project assigned during the quarter that will enable you to use the outside world as a sort of "laboratory" and also a term report.  The first of these will be a weather observation project, and the second will be a climate research project that will require you to use library and/or Internet resources.  You will be required to compile a lab report on the lab and field project we do.  Late assignments will receive partial credit, or no credit if more than one week late.

GRADING POLICY:  Your final grade for Weather and Climate is based on the total number of points you accumulate from the following sources (values approximate):

LECTURE EXAMS and FINAL EXAMS (3 or 4 total)                65%  

ASSIGNMENTS, QUIZZES, PARTICIPATION                             15%

FIELD TRIP and LAB WORK+ LAB REPORT                              20%

ABOUT TESTS: Tests will include material from lectures and labs. * This component assesses a student’s contributions to the learning environment in the classroom. Disciplinary problems that interrupt or impede the progress of the class will also be assessed as part of this component.  Exams:  There will be no make-up tests except for in extreme cases.  You will need a physicians note and/or provide me with advance notice of a schedule conflict if such a situation arises. Exams will include material from the books, lectures, and videos.

Do your own work.  Suspected cheating, intellectual parasitism, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  Additionally, it will be reported to the Centralia College administrators.

Grade assessment: see Grading scale to find out the point and letter grade equivalents for percentage scores on tests.

Term assignment: There will be a Term Assignment required.  Information regarding the assignment will be provided in another handout.  Term Assignments must be turned in at the beginning of the class period on the due-date assigned for full credit. 

Web site: Information for this course is posted on the class web page listed at the top of the first page of this syllabus. This web page is a work in progress and will change as we go through the class. Look there for this syllabus, copies of selected class handouts, links, and additional information, reading suggestions, and assignments.  


·         Late assignments: For you own sake, hand in assignments on time. Assignments turned in late will lose credit points.

·         All multipage assignments must be stapled with the students name on each page; trim perforation “frizzies” off the edge of pages—unless I specify otherwise, it is acceptable to recycle paper that has previously been printed on one side. Simply draw an “x” across the previously printed page.

·         Handwritten assignments:  You will be expected to provide a review of each video shown in class or of the presentations of any guest speakers. I will provide a video review form on the web page. For video reviews and essays on quizzes, please write neatly, and use pencil or blue or black ink only.  Unreadable assignments will be returned for no credit. If possible, please type assignments. Please staple all assignments and write your name on each page.

·         Typed assignments: Please follow guidelines given for each typed assignment.  This generally includes 10 or 12 point font, preferably Times or Arial, margins 1 - 1.25 inches, black ink, white, unbleached or reused paper, with no report covers.  USE LEFT JUSTIFIED ONLY.

·         Evaluation of written assignments and essay questions: I will use grading guidelines such as those noted on these rubrics  in order to evaluate the quality of any written assignments and essay questions. A great way to get a better grade is to look at the guidelines shown in the rubrics for assessing good writing and then make sure your written products “measure up”.

·         Quizzes:  I will provide computerized forms for some quizzes.  Bring a #2 pencil with good eraser.  Be sure to thoroughly erase all mistakes and stray pencil marks during the quiz.  No corrections will be made for you, nor will any be made after quizzes are graded and returned. No makeups of missed exams unless I receive prior notification of illness. 


The overall goals of the exercises and content of this class follow Centralia College’s general education learning themes and distribution outcomes —Note particularly those for the Natural Sciences and quantitative skills.


I take attendance during the first week or so of class; if you don't show up the first day, you may be dropped to give your place tosomeone on the waiting list.  While attendance is not required, skipping classes won’t help you become a successful student. In fact, ALL classmembers benefit from fellow students’ consistent attendance and thoughtful questions and comments. Those who make a habit of skipping classes typicallystruggle to bring home the good grades.  If you do miss a lecture because of sickness, please inform me immediately.  Plan to get notes or special instructionsfrom one of your classmates if you can.  Do not rely on lecture outlines that may be posted on the web page because the cadence of each class differs.If you miss a test and do not have a medical excuse or do not inform me in advance, then you will not be allowed to take that test. 


Note, if you are sick, please do not come to class

This is a demanding course with a lot of material covered in a short period of time.  Regular class attendance is essential to ensureadequate mastery of the material.  If, due to credit load, work schedule, family requirements or health reasons, you will be unable to attend regularly,PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS!  From time to time, pop quizzes will be given at the beginning of class, so please be on time—if you are absent for apop quiz, you will miss the quiz.

Be respectful of everyone in class. Many people, including me, have chemical sensitivities, so please refrain from wearing excessive perfume,cologne, or hairspray. Also, please cough into your elbow or use a handkerchief if you sneeze. I suggest thoroughly washing your hands regularly to help tominimize your risk of getting sick.

If you need to talk with me about your grade, please do not do this before, during, or after class. Please make an appointment with me orvisit during my office hours, which are posted on the door of my office and on the “class links” web page.

I want you to do well in this class!  Forming a study group and quizzing one another on class material can be very helpful.  Iwill be available during my office hours if you have questions or concerns.  If, however, you should get into academic difficulty, know thatit is your responsibility to keep track of drop dates and other deadlines.

My cellular phone and computer use policy: No cell phone use in class. Please make all cell phone calls and do all text messaging outside the classroom. If youare dealing with a family or personal issue and must receive a cell phone call, please put the phone on vibrate and then quietly leave the classroom when youget the call—YOU MY RETURN TO CLASS THE NEXT DAY. Students using computers to take notes in class must sit in the back row of class unless that row is entirely occupied by other computer users. If you are discovered to be usingthe computer to play games, send messages, or other non-class you will first be asked to stop. The second time, you will be asked to leave. The third time Iwill arrange a meeting with the Dean of Instruction or Vice President of Student Affairs to discuss the issue.


Please be courteous to your classmates as well as your instructor and avoid activities disruptive to the learning environment. 

Please avoid side conversations during lecture class!  Even if you whisper, even if you sit in the back, even during a video, talking bothersother people in class. 

Be punctual.  If you must arrive late or leave early, let me know in advance and sit near the door. 


NOTE: If a student is disruptive to the learning environment, they will be given a verbal warning. Further disruptions of the class will be followed bya written warning, and will likely be asked to leave. Students who continue to be disruptive in class will referred to Vice President of Academic Affairs

Please Note:

Special Needs Statement

Students with disabilities may contact the Director, Center for Disability Services to determine their eligibility for reasonableaccommodation.  The director's office is located with the Counseling Center in the Student Services Building.


Copyright Notice

Materials used in connection with this course may be subject to copyright protection under Title 17 of the United States Code.


Equal Opportunity Statement

It is the policy of Centralia College to assure equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, creed,color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age (over 40), religion, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, orstatus as a disabled or Vietnam-era veteran.


Centralia College does not discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities.Designated Title II, VI, VII, IX, Section 504, ADA compliance officer: Vice President for Human Resources and Legal Affairs, Hanson HallRoom 101, Centralia College, 600 Centralia College Blvd, Centralia WA 98531-4099, 360.736.9391, extension 285.


Extended Absence

Should a contagious illness, such as the H1N1 virus, necessitate an extended absence from class, please contact your instructor assoon as possible to make arrangements to complete, if possible, the coursework you miss.

Reviewed By:                                                    


            Revised 4/4/2014