College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences
ADMINISTRATIVE AND ACADEMIC OFFICE:
Berrien Moore, III, Ph.D., Dean and Vice President for Weather and Climate Programs
Kevin Kloesel, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Public Service and Outreach
Mary Anne Hempe, M.F.A., Assistant Dean
- Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sustainability
- Bachelor of Arts in Geography
- Bachelor of Arts in Geographic Information Science
- Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sustainability
- Bachelor of Science in Geography
- Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science
- Bachelor of Science in Meteorology
- Master of Arts
- Master of Science in Environmental Sustainability
- Master of Science in Meteorology
- Doctor of Philosophy
The Mission of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences is to administer, guide, and direct an academic enterprise in geography, environmental sustainability, geographic information science and meteorology so as to become the international leader in weather- and climate-related education and training, environmental and sustainability studies, research and development, and extension and outreach. The College has particular strength in applied climatology, hydrology, atmospheric dynamics, mesoscale meteorology and severe storms, weather radar, atmospheric physics, geographic information systems, resource management and remote sensing of Earth's atmosphere and surface.
The College is composed of academic and research units: the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability and the School of Meteorology are the academic units; research units include the Atmospheric Radar Research Center, Center for the Analysis and Prediction of Storms, the Center for Spatial Analysis, the South Central Climate Science Center, the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, the Oklahoma Alliance for Geographical Education, the Environmental Verification and Analysis Center, the Oklahoma Mesonet, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium, and the Office of Weather Programs and Projects.
The College’s academic and administrative office is located in the National Weather Center, the University’s facility for weather education, research, and operations. This 250,000-square-foot facility houses weather research and operations programs of the University of Oklahoma, the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Dean’s Office and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
More geographers than ever before are being hired in dozens of different fields. All levels of government hire geographers, who work for local and state economic development or planning offices, conduct research in recreation and park use, or map land use from satellite images. Many geographers at the federal level work for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Department of State. Geographers also conduct marketing studies, plan transportation routes, understand international markets, advise businesses on the best location for new stores, work in real estate and urban planning, and determine environmental risks associated with site locations. From electric companies to wind-power farms, from forestry to telecommunications, real-time mobile interactive geographic technologies and databases are emerging as the backbone of large-scale management systems for industries with distributed assets and mobile workforces.
Climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and the overuse of natural resources have contributed to a human environment that may no longer be sustainable Only by using modern scientific methods and by integrating scientific research with an understanding of the global economy and governmental institutions can we expect to understand and manage a natural environment that will be sustainable, supporting and enhancing the quality of life for generations to come. Skilled professionals educated in the principles of environmental sustainability are essential to the effective management of the natural environment. These professionals will be qualified for numerous sustainability-related positions in government, the private sector, the non-profit sector, and education. Because many managers in these sectors have only a vague understanding of sustainability, persons with degrees in environmental sustainability are positioned very well to achieve important leadership positions, setting agendas for long-run sustainability at the local, regional, national, and global levels.
Geographic Information Science
Location-based data are central to 80 to 90 percent of all governmental information and to a wide range of business endeavors. Students who major in geographic information science study the science and technology of gathering, analyzing, interpreting, distributing and using geographic information. The U.S. Department of Labor declared geospatial technology as one of the twelve targeted industries that are high growth, high demand, and economically vital for the nation. Lending itself to both physical and social sciences, geospatial technology is applied across a broad range of sectors. Career opportunities span academia, government, industry and non-governmental organizations and include careers in agriculture, forestry, urban planning, land use, soil mapping, energy & utilities, redistricting, identifying and monitoring surface and ground water, flood damage assessment and relief measures, and consumer industries like in-car navigation systems.
Meteorologists are highly trained atmospheric professionals who not only report on the weather, but also forecast it, prepare warnings, study the ozone and pollution levels, brief pilots on hazardous conditions, monitor rainfall and flood levels, and conduct research into specific weather phenomena like severe storms and tornadoes. Although a large number of meteorologists are employed by the media and the National Weather Service, the demand for meteorologists from engineering and environmental firms, private weather forecasters and consultants, and over a dozen federal agencies indicates that the need for professional meteorologists will continue to increase. Employers include all branches of the military, airlines and cargo haulers, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), utility and insurance companies, ocean shipping firms, commodity trading firms, federal and state research laboratories, and meteorological software companies.
PARTICIPATION IN THE HONORS PROGRAM
Eligible undergraduate students may participate in the University-wide Honors Program described elsewhere in this catalog. Specially designed Honors courses and seminars provide the Honors student with small classes and opportunities for interaction with the University's best and brightest faculty members, both within the student’s major field of study and in other courses used to satisfy curricular requirements.
Talented undergraduate students are encouraged to work with faculty on research projects. These student research projects can be an important component of the Honors Program and/or a source of part-time income and scholarship support. Such research participation provides the student with important experience in his or her discipline in addition to meeting normal academic requirements. For more information on undergraduate research, visit the University’s Undergraduate Research website here: http://www.ou.edu/undergraduate-research.
Faculty-supervised research is an important component of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences graduate program. Many graduate students are supported financially through research assistantships funded by federal and private industry grants and contracts. Other graduate students are supported financially through teaching assistantships awarded by their academic units. Faculty-supervised student research leading to master’s theses and doctoral dissertations is an integral component of the overall graduate degree requirements.
The academic and research units of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences are housed in the Sarkeys Energy Center (SEC) and the National Weather Center (NWC).
THE SARKEYS ENERGY CENTER
The Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, the Environmental Verification and Analysis Center (EVAC), and the Oklahoma Alliance for Geographic Education (OKAGE) are housed on floors four, five, and six in the Sarkeys Energy Center (SEC). Classrooms, computer labs, and laboratory facilities are also located in the building.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER CENTER
The National Weather Center (NWC) houses University of Oklahoma components and a confederation of state and federal organizations that work together on educational, pure and applied research, and operational activities.
The Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Dean’s Office, the School of Meteorology, the Atmospheric Radar Research Center, the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, the Environmental Verification and Analysis Center, the Center for Spatial Analysis, the Natural Hazards and Disaster Prevention Center, and the Oklahoma Climatological Survey are the University of Oklahoma components of the Weather Center.
The federal agencies that are part of the Weather Center include: the National Severe Storms Forecast Laboratory, the Storm Prediction Center, the National Weather Service Office (Oklahoma City), the WSR-88D (NEXRAD) Radar Operations Center, and the Warning Decision Training Branch. The National Weather Center programs offer a rich educational and research environment for students pursuing undergraduate and graduate study in meteorology, climate, hydrology, remote sensing, and computer applications.
The NWC also houses the NWC Library, which contains almost 4,000 meteorology books and hundreds of government documents in its collection and access to over 50 atmospheric science journals. The NWC Library supports the research, education, outreach and operations missions of all of the entities in the NWC and also supports the wider meteorology community in Norman. For more information, visit the NWC Library’s website here: http://library.nwc.ou.edu/.
CENTER FOR SPATIAL ANALYSIS (CSA)
The Center for Spatial Analysis (CSA) at the University of Oklahoma is a multidisciplinary university research center specializing in the study and application of geospatial science and technology. CSA is composed of three working units that focus on research and development, outreach and training, and applications and services. Through efforts in each of these units CSA seeks to advance the geospatial vision of the university and contribute to education, research, and economic development in the State of Oklahoma. Housed in Four Partners Place, CSA is a member of the National Weather Center program and the OU Research Campus, an affiliate member in the Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium, and a partner to the Center for Applied Social Research. Visit their website at http://csa.ou.edu for further information.
South Central Climate Science Center
The South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC) is part of a network of eight CSCs created to provide scientific information, tools, and techniques that managers and other parties interested in land, water, wildlife and cultural resources can use to anticipate, monitor, and adapt to climate change.
Housed in Four Partners Place, the SC CSC is supported by a consortium of partners that include The University of Oklahoma, Texas Tech University, Louisiana State University, The Chickasaw Nation, The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.
The current focus of the SC CSC consortium is on recruiting and training graduate students, conducting climate change and impacts research and developing climate science and climate change educational programs. For more information, visit their website at http://www.doi.gov/csc/southcentral/index.cfm
The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Honor Roll is compiled at the close of each fall and spring semester. It includes students who have completed at least 12 grade point hours (excluding courses graded S/U or P/NP) and have earned an average of 3.50 or higher during the semester. Part-time students enrolled for both the fall and spring semesters of an academic year will be included on the spring semester honor roll provided that, as a result of combining the work completed during the fall and spring semesters, they earn at least 12 grade point hours (excluding courses grade S/U or P/NP) with no withdrawals and an average of 3.50 or better.
Students in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences form lasting friendships while at OU, drawn together by the rigors of their degree programs, a devoted faculty and staff, and social activities sponsored by the College of A&GS and by the College’s individual academic units. These include New Sooner Orientation, photo contests, Movie Mondays in the National Weather Center Library, the annual Bevo Barbeque, the Groundhog’s Day Party, forecast contests, the Weather Festival, and the Geography Bowl, to name just a few.
Students also form strong bonds through participation in student clubs, such as:
- The University of Oklahoma Geography & Environmental Sustainability Club
- GIS Club
- Association of Geography Graduate Students
- Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (SCAMS)
- Student Affairs Committee (Meteorology)
- Oklahoma Weather Lab (OWL)
Students entering the University are eligible to apply for any of the general scholarships awarded by the University Scholarship Committee. General scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement and financial need. Scholarship and other forms of financial aid information are available here: http://www.ou.edu/financialaid.html.
The College offers the John T. Snow Study Abroad Scholarship, a $1,000 award which is presented annually to an undergraduate who plans to study abroad during the upcoming year, and the James B. Morehead Scholarship, a $1,000 award which is presented annually to an undergraduate student to support research in field work projects.
In addition, scholarships are awarded to geography and environmental sustainability, geographic information science, and meteorology students by the programs in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences. For additional information, please refer to the academic unit sections in the following pages.
The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences has made a major commitment to integrate and expand computer and network technology in its courses and programs. The College provides a specialized computing lab for exclusive use by its majors in the National Weather Center, Room 4803. This lab contains equipment geared toward the special needs of students majoring in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and includes an HP DesignJet 800ps 42" Poster Printer, a Microtek ScanMaker 1000 XL (large format flatbed scanner), a Dazzle Video Creator Platinum, a Sony Hi-Fi Super VHS S-Video VCR / DVD, a Panasonic 50" Plasma TV, an HP Color LaserJet 5550dtn Printer, an HP LaserJet 4050N Printer, a 7 Dell Precision PCs, a 1 20" iMac, a 1 Toshiba Tecra Laptop, an Epson LCD Projector, and a Sony Handycam MiniDV Camcorder. The College is a partner in the University of Oklahoma SuperComputing (OSCER-OU SuperComputing Center for Education and Research Center).
The University of Oklahoma's College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences does not condone or encourage storm chasing by students. Anyone who chooses to chase storms does so at their own risk and should not imply that their activities are connected with the University. The only possible exception is when students are officially included in storm intercept activities conducted as part of well-planned and safety-trained scientific projects lead by faculty or scientists in the National Weather Center research units. Storm chasing is not part of the School of Meteorology course curriculum nor should such activities take precedence over the academic activities of the School such as coursework and attending classes and seminars.
The A&GS Dean’s Office and your faculty adviser will:
- Work with you to establish realistic goals and objectives.
- Encourage you to be responsible for your own academic progress and to realize your full potential as a student at the University of Oklahoma.
- Understand and communicate the Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences curriculum, graduation requirements, and University of Oklahoma policies and procedures.
- Be accessible for meetings by appointment.
- Respond promptly to your e-mails and telephone calls.
- Make referrals to resources outside the College when needed.
- Help you monitor your progress toward graduation.
- Assist you with any problems of an academic nature.
As a student in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, you are expected to:
- Learn the requirements for your degree program, which are posted on the college website and in the OU General Catalog.
- Become familiar with Degree Navigator, the University’s online system that monitors progress toward the completion of your degree.
- Become knowledgeable about University policies and procedures, e.g., drop/add deadlines, enrollment, how to apply for financial aid.
- Set a projected graduation date and develop a semester-to-semester plan to complete your degree.
- Stay up to date with College events and opportunities by reading Monday Memo, the College’s weekly online newsletter which is emailed to your OU email account every Monday during the spring and fall semesters.
- Meet with your faculty advisor at least once every semester.
- Schedule a degree check in the A&GS Dean’s Office (NWC, Room 3630) by the first semester of your junior year.
- Save a copy of every paper or major assignment, along with all official University documents (e.g., receipts) until you are cleared for graduation.
- Be responsible for your actions and decisions.
ADMISSION TO THE UNIVERSITY
Students must be admitted to the University of Oklahoma before being admitted to the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences.
First-year students and all other prospective A&GS students who have not yet met the requirements for admission to the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences are admitted to University College. Inquiries concerning admission to the University and University College should be addressed to the Office of Admissions. Prospective students considering majoring in any of the College’s programs should complete as a minimum the following high school preparatory work:
- Mathematics — four years of college-preparatory mathematics.
- Sciences — a year each of physics, chemistry, biology and/or Earth sciences.
- English — four years (including grammar and composition).
- Foreign Language — two years (same language).
Prospective Students are encouraged to visit the Prospective Student section of the College’s website here: http://www.ou.edu/content/ags/apply.html for more information on preparing for a degree at the University of Oklahoma
Additional College Regulations
ADMISSION TO THE COLLEGE
Students are admitted to the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences from University College once they declare a major in geography, environmental sustainability, geographic information science, or meteorology, and complete the following requirements:
- a minimum of 24 semester hours of college credit.
- a minimum combined retention grade point average of 2.00.
Students transferring into the University of Oklahoma from another institution must have a minimum of 24 semester hours of college credit and a minimum 2.50 retention grade point average to be directly admitted to the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences.
Academic credit from any division of the University of Oklahoma — Norman campus, Health Sciences Center, OU-Tulsa, and Claremore, or Continuing Education — is considered resident credit at the University of Oklahoma. Grades and hours earned at any of these divisions are included in the OU retention and cumulative grade point averages for purposes of admission or readmission to the University, and to the individual colleges within the University.
The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences believes that faculty members are best qualified to provide curricular, professional, and career advisement. Students in the College are required to meet with their faculty adviser every semester prior to each enrollment period.
In addition to your A&GS faculty adviser, the Dean’s Office (NWC, Room 3630) is available to assist students with degree checks, transfer equivalencies, and any problems of an academic nature. Students may call (405) 325-3095 to schedule an appointment.
Please note that the responsibility for meeting graduation requirements lies with the student and not with the adviser, the school/department, or the Dean.
COLLEGE GRADE POINT AVERAGE REQUIREMENTS
To remain in good standing in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, students must maintain a 2.00 combined retention grade point average in all coursework attempted, a 2.00 grade point average in all coursework attempted in the major area, and a 2.00 retention grade point average in all coursework attempted at OU.
Students whose major, combined retention or OU retention grade point averages fall below 2.00 are placed on academic contract. Students on academic contract are denied enrollment privileges through the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences following any semester in which satisfactory scholastic progress toward a 2.00 has not been made.
Grade point deficiencies must be made up through reenrollment in major courses in which the student had a last-recorded grade of D or F. Should all D or F grades in curriculum courses be raised to a C or above, and the student still has grade point scholastic deficiencies, the student may then enroll in non-major courses. For the freshman and sophomore years any course may be used, but for the junior and senior years, the courses must be numbered 2000 or above, unless the course so elected is approved as an elective in the last two years of the student’s major curriculum.
After a student has been reinstated in the University following an unsatisfactory scholastic record, the student must apply to the Dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences for reinstatement in the College. The Dean will determine whether to readmit the student and may prescribe the conditions for reinstatement in the College in accordance with the policies established by the faculty and the Dean.
COLLEGE CREDIT HOUR REQUIREMENTS
To be recommended for a bachelor’s degree in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, a student must complete:
- A minimum of 120 semester credit hours applicable toward an Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences bachelor’s degree.
- A minimum of 40 semester credit hours of upper division credit (courses numbered 3000 or above) must be earned at an accredited senior institutions.
- A minimum of 60 semester credit hours must be completed at accredited senior institutions.
- Transfer credit may be accepted from two-year colleges to meet lower division requirements only.
- A minimum of two semesters must be spent in residence in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences.
- At least 36 of the last 48 hours must be earned in residence at OU.
- No more than 52 of the minimum 124 semester credit hours may be taken in one department of the college (geography, geographic information science, or meteorology).
- No more than 12 hours of independent study or directed readings may be applied toward degree requirements.
- A minimum 2.00 must be maintained in the major, on all OU work attempted, and on the student’s combined retention grade point average.
- No more than six semester credit hours of military science may be applied toward degree requirements.
ADDITIONAL ACADEMIC REGULATIONS
- Any departure by a student from the curriculum requirements and scholastic rules must be approved by a petition and must not conflict with existing University regulations.
- The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences requires comprehensive examinations to be given during the regular scheduled examination periods in all undergraduate courses excluding directed readings, pure laboratory courses and project-type courses and seminars. No member of the faculty is authorized to depart from this regulation or from the published examination schedule for either a class or an individual without prior approval. Special early examinations given to individual students or groups of students as substitutes for final examinations are prohibited. A student will not be expected to take more than two examinations in one day.
- Full-time students may enroll in 12-19 hours of coursework. Enrollment in more than 19 credit hours is permitted only with the approval of the student’s adviser and the Dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences. Permission to carry more than 19 hours will depend primarily on the student’s scholarship record and his/her ability to carry increased loads.
- Academically superior students are encouraged to contact the Honors College office to investigate their participation in the University’s Honors College.
- Pass/no pass enrollments may not be used to satisfy College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences requirements.
TEN-YEAR LIMITATION RULE
Credit in a student’s major that is more than 10 years old may not be applied toward a bachelor’s degree unless it is validated by the major department or by each department if the student’s major is interdisciplinary.
The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences offers students the option of declaring a minor subject. Minors in the College are available in environmental sustainability, geography, geographic information science, hydrologic science, physical geography, weather and climate, and meteorology.
The specific minor requirements will be found in the section of the catalog describing the major program offered by the College and at http://www.ou.edu/content/ags/degrees.html. Minors in hydrologic science and Weather and Climate offered through the College are described below. The successful completion of a minor will be entered on the student’s permanent record at the time the degree is recorded. The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences also offers these approved minors to students registered in other colleges within the University. In addition, A&GS students are eligible to declare a minor offered through other OU colleges.
Minor in Hydrologic Science
Hydrologic science is the study of the occurrence, distribution, movement and properties of water and its relationship with the Earth’s environment. Thus, hydrologic science is a cross-disciplinary area which blends aspects of civil engineering, environmental science, geography, geology, geophysics, and meteorology. Persons with backgrounds in hydrologic science will have the expertise to investigate the water cycle including techniques on measuring the various components with various tools such as radar, GIS, and remote sensing platforms. This will allow for preparing plans for the wise, long-term use of water resources in agriculture, industry, municipal planning, and recreation.
Minor in Weather and Climate
The College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences offers students in other colleges a minor in Weather and Climate. This minor requires the successful completion of 15 hours of courses acceptable for major credit in Geography and Meteorology, to include nine hours at the upper-division level. This minor is not available to Geography or Meteorology majors.
GRADUATION GRADE POINT AVERAGE
A minimum 2.00 must be maintained in the major, on all OU work attempted, and on the student’s combined retention grade point average to earn a bachelor’s degree through the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences.
DISTINCTION AND SPECIAL DISTINCTION DEGREES
The faculty may recommend that the degree “With Distinction” be conferred on graduates who have a retention grade point average at OU of 3.50 or higher and “With Special Distinction” on students who have an OU retention grade point average of 3.75 or higher.
BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE
The Bachelor of Arts degrees in A&GS emphasize the social applications of the discipline. Students pursuing a bachelor of arts will acquire knowledge and skills in foreign language, statistics and social understanding, including policy making.
In addition to University-Wide General Education requirements, the following must be completed for the Bachelor of Arts in Geography, Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sustainability, or the Bachelor of Arts in Geographic Information Science:
- Humanities — one course in addition to General Education requirements.
- Natural Science elective — one course in addition to General Education requirements, with or without lab.
- Two courses (six hours) intermediate-level foreign language. Students who demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language (through placement or competency exam) may replace the six hours of foreign language with adviser approved electives.
- Twenty-four hours of adviser approved coursework outside the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability.
Please note that although the Bachelor of Arts in Geography and the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sustainability require the completion of GEOG 3924 (Analytic Methods in Geography), a course that carries General Education math credit, students must complete an additional General Education math course.
Total Minimum Curriculum Hours Required for Graduation: 120
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREES
The Bachelor of Science degrees in A&GS emphasize the science and engineering sides of the discipline. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree will acquire knowledge and skills in math, physics and computation.
In addition to University-Wide General Education requirements, the following must be completed for the Bachelor in Science in Geography, the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sustainability, the Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science, or the Bachelor of Science in Meteorology:
- CHEM 1315, General Chemistry*
- PHYS 2514, General Physics I for Science and Engineering Majors* and PHYS 2524, General Physics II for Science and Engineering Majors
- MATH 1823, Calculus & Analytic Geometry I,* MATH 2423, Calculus & Analytic Geometry II, MATH 2433, Calculus & Analytic Geometry III, and MATH 2443, Calculus & Analytic Geometry IV or MATH 1914, MATH 2924, and MATH 2934
- C S 1313, Computer Programming for Non-Majors or METR 1313 Programming for Meteorology
- A minimum of 15 hours of 3000-4000-level courses to be chosen from chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, geophysics, mathematics, management information systems, meteorology, or physics; or statistics courses from microbiology, plant biology, political science, psychology, or sociology
* Also fulfills a University General Education requirement
Total Minimum Curriculum Hours Required for Graduation: 120
For specific requirements for individual degrees, please refer to the academic unit sections in the following pages.
A student who has completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree may receive a second bachelor’s degree upon the completion of the curriculum prescribed for the second degree, provided that the work completed includes at least 30 additional credit hours of upper-division geography, environmental sustainability, geographic information science, or meteorology, applied science and elective courses appropriate to the field of the second degree. These courses must be over and above the credit hours required for the first degree.
For specific information about graduate studies, please refer to the academic unit sections.