Course Title: Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
Intro: I am proposing to have a degree called “Atmospheric or Environmental Sciences” which combines elements of the meteorology program and the environmental science and policy program we have here at Plymouth State. The program I am proposing has elements of science, math and computer skills that would be useful to create a major such as this. I have already taken many of my classes that will go toward my degree with a few exceptions for the spring semester in 2018. The Science courses I have taken include those of meteorology, environmental science, hydrology, conservation, calculus, chemistry, computer science, and statistics. I feel these are great courses to take because not only are they science courses, but also courses from other programs that are beneficial for any meteorology or environmental science major. I created this program from both my previous program requirements from my Meteorology major, but also by adding environmental science and courses needed for an environmental science degree. I created it because I enjoyed both of these sciences and saw a big connection between the two of them. The atmosphere interacts with the earth and environment, and it’s clear that the courses are similar and play off of one another. If you take an environmental science course and have studied meteorology, it is a lot easier to understand the material because of the material in the courses. After doing some research I have found that other colleges have similar programs to the one I am choosing to do. Usually programs very similar to mine are called “Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences”, “Earth, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences” or “Earth and Atmospheric Science”. The reason I chose “Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences” is because with the courses I have taken, it most closely resembles that of the degrees with that title. No major at PSU is like this, but there are so many that offer this and I think it’s a great idea because it combines the Sciences that are very similar and rely on each other in regards of how the earth works, and how climate change is created. I was originally a Meteorology major, and while I did like the program I did find an interest with Environmental Science and saw a lot of connections between the two. Both programs required calculus and chemistry and I had taken both already. I created it after reading into the similarities and seeing those applied to both the meteorology and environmental science programs. This new major will tie in different fields and since they both involve mathematics, chemistry, and other sciences, I feel like this program will be right for me in what I would like to do with my future.
Course Explanations: Of course in the Interdisciplinary Studies program I have included intro to interdisciplinary studies and my senior seminar. My QRCO was part of my meteorology program before and also relates to environmental science. My QRCO is General Chemistry 1, which is required for a degree such as mine. Chemistry plays a big role in both Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences because to understand those sciences at a molecular level to see how different forces function, you must have a solid understanding of Chemistry. Upper level courses I have included are Conservation, which is classified as a Biology class but it was highly involved in Environmental Science and helped me understand the role biology plays in the environment. I am currently taking Applied Environmental Hydrology which applies to the Environmental Science Portion of my degree. I also added Probability and Statistics for Scientists because it is crucial for both Meteorology and Environmental Science programs because it provides mathematical skills which can be applied to computers when analyzing data. The Meteorology courses and independent study I also included include: Synoptic Meteorology 1, Meteorological Instruments and Observation, Air Quality (Which the professor described as the ultimate interdisciplinary course), General Chemistry II, Intro to Atmospheric Science, Intro to Meteorological Analysis, and Climatology (which also is heavily involved in Environmental Science). Math courses I’ve taken are required for both programs here at PSU which are Calculus 1 and Calculus 2. Computer classes involved with both majors include Scientific Programming (which incorporates the understanding of the Python coding language necessary for programs involved with meteorology and environmental science) and computer mapping. The courses in environmental Science that I am planning to add to my degree are any other courses available in the spring. As of now it looks like those courses will be Field Studies, Environmental Science, and Natural Hazards.
Conclusion: This program is highly Interdisciplinary because it connects many pieces of the Sciences I am studying and includes other courses in math, chemistry, and computer science that will be entirely beneficial for my degree. As someone with this degree I could study meteorology, climate change and the changing of geomorphology with the changing environment from the atmosphere and land. There are so many possibilities, including working with civil engineering companies to analyze landscapes before structures are built. This degree will prepare me for the future because it will allow me to be open to new jobs in different concentrations in my field rather than just picking one without the others. I also included a minor in Spanish because I feel that I can travel for research such as studying landscapes and the environment so we can prevent damage and destruction from future natural disasters such as hurricanes and earth quakes. It will allow me to communicate with the people of Latin and South America so they can better prepare for natural disasters with the changing climate. This will help me find several different job opportunities in different fields and will create a wonderful career experience for me.