The Meteorology and Physical Oceanography (MPO) graduate program was founded on the premise that oceanic and atmospheric dynamics are governed by a set of similar physical principles, and that much insight can be gained by studying their dynamics from a common perspective. The MPO program requires students to develop expertise in both systems, and prepares students to conduct leading-edge research using a complementary set of theoretical, observational, and modeling approaches. The MPO curriculum forms a strong foundation for research on a broad spectrum of topics that include air-sea interaction, the global thermohaline circulation, tropical cyclones, El Nino, the Madden-Julian Oscillations, and the evolution of the Earth’s climate. A more comprehensive list of research topics can be found here or by browsing the individual faculty research pages.

The program offers Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees. The expected period of study is 5 years for Ph.D. students and 2 years for M.S. students.

Students wishing to pursue a graduate degree in MPO must have strong quantitative skills and a solid foundation in one of the physical, mathematical or computational sciences. A bachelor's or master's degree in one of the science disciplines - such as physics, mathematics, or engineering - usually provide the requisite background. In addition to good academic training, applicants should bring an unbridled enthusiasm and intense curiosity for the natural world in order to succeed and enjoy their experience at the Rosenstiel School.

MPO 502. Oceanography II (Physical). 2 Credit Hours.

The second section of the course core curriculum designed as an integrated and multidisciplinary view of ocean processes, covering the major disciplines of ma rine science and their applications to the study of the marine environment. To be taken in sequence with Oceanography I - Geological (MGG 501), Oceanography I II - Chemical (MAC 501), and Oceanography IV - Biological (MBF 502). This cours e is for non-MPO majors only.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 503. Physical Oceanography. 3 Credit Hours.

Introduction to properties of seawater, instruments and methods, heat budget, general ocean circulation, formation of water masses, dynamics of circulation, regional oceanography, waves, tides, and sea level. A mathematical and problem solving course for majors in MPO.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 511. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics I. 3 Credit Hours.

The basic equations of state, continuity, and motion. Topics include wave motions, group velocity, theory of stratified fluids and internal waves turbulence.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 531. Physical Meteorology. 3 Credit Hours.

Electromagnetic and acoustic wave propagation, absorption, and emission. Application to remote sensing, basic physics of dry aerosols, clouds and precipitation, fundamentals of atmospheric electricity, charge separation processes, and electrical field effects are also discussed. Other topics include air pollution physics, dispersal, and removal of particulate and gaseous materials from natural and anthropogenic sources.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 532. Broadcast Meteorology. 3 Credit Hours.

Students will learn the proper techniques involved in preparing and presenting a complete and professional weathercast with a heavy emphasis on communication skills, computer graphics, and on-camera delivery.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 533. Atmospheric Boundary Layer. 3 Credit Hours.


Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 542. Physics of Remote Sensing I - Passive Systems. 3 Credit Hours.

Course discusses basic physical principles of remote sensing. Topics include an introduction, sampling issues, fundamental laws of electromagnetic waves, passive sensing, active sensing, and a brief survey of satellite sensors.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 543. Physics Of Remote Sensing Ii - Active Systems. 3 Credit Hours.

This course discusses basic physical principles of remote sensing. The main top ics are (1) Introduction, (2) Sampling issues, (3) Fundamental laws of electrom agnetic waves, (4) Passive sensing, (5) Active sensing, and (6) Brief survey of satellite sensors.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 551. Introduction to Atmospheric Science. 3 Credit Hours.

Thermodynamics of dry and moist processes; elementary dynamical meteorology; description of weather systems and phenomena on all scales; structure and mechanics of the general circulation. Corequisite: MPO 552.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 553. Climate Change. 3 Credit Hours.

Overview of the physical processes which regulate the earth's climate and response to forcing.
1 year of Calculus 1 year Physics.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 561. Tropical Atmosphere and Ocean. 3 Credit Hours.

Observed structure of large-scale tropical circulations, incuding the Trades, t he intertropical Convergence Zone, the Walker circulation, and equatorial wave disturbances. An overview of tropical climate, including El Nino/Southern Oscil lation, and tropical monsoons is included as well as the formation, structure, and dynamics of tropical cyclone interactions between tropical convection and l arge-scale circulations, equatorial waves, and flow instabilities.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 562. Advance Weather Forecasting. 3 Credit Hours.


Prerequisite: ATM 243, ATM 305, and ATM 405.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 563. Mesoscale Meteorology and Severe Storms. 3 Credit Hours.

Course topics include the structure and dynamics of clouds, thunderstorms, and mesoscale convective systems, radar and satellite observations of clouds and precipitation, severe storm forecasting, mesoscale disturbances, frontal and orographic clouds, and precipitation.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 581. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 582. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 583. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 584. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 585. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 602. Oceanography II (Physical). 2 Credit Hours.

The second section of the course core curriculum designed as an integrated and multidisciplinary view of ocean processes, covering the major disciplines of ma rine science and their applications to the study of the marine environment. To be taken in sequence with Oceanography I - Geological (MGG 501), Oceanography I II - Chemical (MAC 501), and Oceanography IV - Biological (MBF 502). This cours e is for non-MPO majors only.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 603. Physical Oceanography. 3 Credit Hours.

Introduction to properties of seawater, instruments and methods, heat budget, general ocean circulation, formation of water masses, dynamics of circulation, regional oceanography, waves, tides, and sea level. A mathematical and problem solving course for majors in MPO.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 611. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics I. 3 Credit Hours.

The basic equations of state, continuity, and motion. Topics include wave motions, group velocity, theory of stratified fluids and internal waves turbulence.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 615. Numerical Weather Prediction. 3 Credit Hours.

Review of fundamental equations and principal wave solutions. Course topics include finite differences, the filtering problem, the equivalent-baratropic model, multi-level primitive equation models, model initialization and verification, and models currently used by the weather service.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 624. Applied Data Analysis. 3 Credit Hours.


Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 631. Physical Meteorology. 3 Credit Hours.

Electromagnetic and acoustic wave propagation, absorption, and emission. Application to remote sensing, basic physics of dry aerosols, clouds and precipitation, fundamentals of atmospheric electricity, charge separation processes, and electrical field effects are also discussed. Other topics include air pollution physics, dispersal, and removal of particulate and gaseous materials from natural and anthropogenic sources.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 632. Broadcast Meteorology. 3 Credit Hours.

Students will learn the proper techniques involved in preparing and presenting a complete and professional weathercast with a heavy emphasis on communication skills, computer graphics, and on-camera delivery.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 633. Atmospheric Boundary Layer. 3 Credit Hours.


Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 642. Physics of Remote Sensing I - Passive Systems. 3 Credit Hours.

Course discusses basic physical principles of remote sensing. Topics include an introduction, sampling issues, fundamental laws of electromagnetic waves, passive sensing, active sensing, and a brief survey of satellite sensors.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 643. Physics Of Remote Sensing Ii - Active Systems. 3 Credit Hours.

This course discusses basic physical principles of remote sensing. The main top ics are (1) Introduction, (2) Sampling issues, (3) Fundamental laws of electrom agnetic waves, (4) Passive sensing, (5) Active sensing, and (6) Brief survey of satellite sensors.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 651. Introduction to Atmospheric Science. 3 Credit Hours.

Thermodynamics of dry and moist processes; elementary dynamical meteorology; description of weather systems and phenomena on all scales; structure and mechanics of the general circulation. Corequisite: MPO 552.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 653. Climate Change. 3 Credit Hours.

Overview of the physical processes which regulate the earth's climate and response to forcing.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 661. Tropical Atmosphere and Ocean. 3 Credit Hours.

Observed structure of large-scale tropical circulations, incuding the Trades, t he intertropical Convergence Zone, the Walker circulation, and equatorial wave disturbances. An overview of tropical climate, including El Nino/Southern Oscil lation, and tropical monsoons is included as well as the formation, structure, and dynamics of tropical cyclone interactions between tropical convection and l arge-scale circulations, equatorial waves, and flow instabilities.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 662. Advance Weather Forecasting. 3 Credit Hours.

Students will learn the skills needed in researching and preparing a professional weather forecast. There are a plethora of forecast resources available online. Students will learn about using these forecast resources and share resources of their own. Specifically we will cover topics such as the basics of atmospheric meteorology, large and small scale weather forecasting, operational weather forecasting, tropical weather, severe weather, nor’“”•–—˜easters, lake effect snow, oscillations and various other weather phenomena. During the course of the semester a couple of Guest speakers in various parts of the field will visit to discuss relevant topics.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 663. Mesoscale Meteorology and Severe Storms. 3 Credit Hours.

Course topics include the structure and dynamics of clouds, thunderstorms, and mesoscale convective systems, radar and satellite observations of clouds and precipitation, severe storm forecasting, mesoscale disturbances, frontal and orographic clouds, and precipitation.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 681. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 682. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 683. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 684. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 685. Special Topics. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Lectures, research projects or directed readings in special topics related to M eteorology and Physical Oceanography.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 701. Seminars in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. 1 Credit Hour.


Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

MPO 711. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics II. 3 Credit Hours.

The focus of this course is on the effects of stratification, on time variable phenomena, and on the interacation between large-scale circulation and mesoscal e eddies. Course topics include quasi-geostrophic scale analysis, Rossby waves, barotropic and baroclinic instability, wave-mean flow interaction and non-geos trophic waves.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 712. Large Scale Ocean Circulation: Models and Observations. 3 Credit Hours.

Course topics include theoretical models of the oceanic current systems, wind-driven and thermohaline circulation, effects of bottom topography, and lateral bounding.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 721. Waves and Tides I. 3 Credit Hours.

The focus of this course is on the kinematics, dynamics and energetics of wave motions in the ocean and atmosphere from both theoretical and observational perspectives. We examine the internal wave spectrum ranging from the buoyancy frequency to the inertial frequency including the WKBJ scaling of the momentum by the buoyancy frequency. The IW spectrum often contains both the semidiurnal and diurnal tidal frequencies where the former is often referred to as internal tide that are excited along continental margins by barotropic tides. Within the context of normal modes, Kelvin and topographically Rossby waves are also present in this regime known as coastally trapped (also known as continental shelf waves). The course then goes into the equatorial wave guide that supports these motions (except for near-inertial motions). This is followed by the forced wave motions by atmospheric fronts and cyclones where Green’“”•–—˜s functions are introduced.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 723. Statistical Analysis of Geophysical Data. 3 Credit Hours.

Review of statistical methods. Course topics include statistical description of wave fields, especially inertio-gravity waves, processing methods for general and hydrodynamically conditioned signals, time series analysis, objective analysis, and empirical spectral analysis.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 724. Statistical Modeling of Geophysical Fields. 3 Credit Hours.

An advanced course in statistical modeling, analysis, and assimilation of geophysical data. Emphasis is placed on practical applications, computer software, and new nonstandard techniques.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 731. Air-Sea Interaction. 3 Credit Hours.


Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 732. Climate Dynamics. 3 Credit Hours.

Basic understanding of the Earth's Climate System and its variability on time scales ranging from weeks to millennia. Topics include internal atmospheric variability, coupled ocean-atmosphere interactions, and the theory, observations and modeling of climate change.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 733. The Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer. 3 Credit Hours.

The marine atmospheric boundary layer plays a key role in the two-way interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean. This course will focus on describing and explaining marine atmospheric boundary layer structure and its evolution. This will include an emphasis on the cloud-topped boundary layer (marine stratocumulus) and the trade-wind boundary layer. Thus, in addition to turbulence, the physical processes considered in this treatment of the marine boundary layer will include shallow moist convection and radiation. The course will start with a basic description of the atmospheric boundary layer that will include a review of the relevant dynamics and thermodynamics. More advance topics will be covered in the second half of the course. Although the course will be a series of formal lectures, students will independently research selected topics, prepare a short review paper, and give an oral summary class.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 734. Cloud Physics And Radiative Transfer. 3 Credit Hours.

This class provides a modern update to what has traditionally been labeled as "Physical Meteorology": the fundamental physical processes that can occur in one day or less, and within one 1km or less. Such small-scale processes include aerosol, cloud and precipitation physics, and the radiative transfer through the atmosphere. We add to this a consideration of the interactions of aerosols and clouds with the larger meteorological field, as only through understanding the covariations between the aerosol and cloud physics and the larger-scale dynamical/thermodynamical fields can each influence be identified. Current issues pertinent to climate and to weather will be explored , and modeling approaches treated. The radiative transfer unit will develop a deeper appreciation of the concepts and mathematical tools, with exposure to radiative transfer codes.The course is split into 2 halves: the first half covers cloud physics, the 2nd half covers atmospheric radiation. Spring break provides a neat division of the two halves. The course assumes knowledge at the Wallace and Hobbs level.The course work will include computer programming and some computer literacy is assumed.
Prerequisite: MPO 551.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 750. Coastal Ocean Circulation. 3 Credit Hours.

Circulation and stratification in the coastal ocean, including the dynamics of wind-driven, tidally-driven, and buoyancy-driven mean and transit flows over variable topography with density stratification are discussed. Design of numerical models and observing systems for coastal ocean circulation are also in included. (AMP 650).
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 752. Vortex Dynamics. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will cover fundamental to advanced topics in vortex dynamics. A review of fluid dynamics and vorticity in two dimensions will be followed by studies of vortex dynamics in three-dimensional, incompressible flow and in three-dimensional, stratified flow.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 762. Computer Models in Fluid Dynamics. 3 Credit Hours.

Course topics include numerical techniques of dealing with dynamic problems in meteorology and oceanography. Dynamic prediction models, initial data conditioning, computational stability, and error estimates are also included.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 764. Atmospheric and Oceanic Turbulence. 3 Credit Hours.

Structure and dynamics of planetary boundary layers, turbulent transport processes, Fickian and statistical theories of turbulence, influence of stratification, and rotation on turbulent motion are discussed.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 765. General Circulation of the Atmosphere. 3 Credit Hours.

Course topics include structure and behavior of planetary scale motions, energy, momentum, and moisture budgets of the general circulation, and models of the general circulation and climatic change.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MPO 767. Spectral and Finite Element Methods In Computational Fluid Dynamics. 3 Credit Hours.


Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 768. Enso Dynamics, Prediction And Predictability. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will provide students with a comprehensive observational and mechan istic understanding of the El Nino and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomen a and how ENSO impacts the natural variability of the global climate system. T opics will include: Observations and theories of the seasonal and interannual c hanges in the ocean circulation and temperature, and interactions with the atmo sphere; equations of motion and theories of tropical ocean and atmosphere circu lation; tropical wave dynamics; large scale air-sea coupling; mechanisms for EN SO: delayed oscillator theory, recharge oscillator theory, slow SST modes; ENSO prediction and predictability; ENSO-monsoon-Indian Ocean intersctions; Global climate response to ENSO; decadal ENSO variability; ENSO in a changing climate. This course has a phenomenological focus, which complements current MPO cours e offerings. In particular, students who have taken dynamic and physical meteo rology, ocean general circulation or geophysical fluid dynamics will be exposed to how general theory (e.g., wave dynamics) relates to particular phenomena an d current research foci. In addition, student will have the opportunity to des ign and implement numerical hypothesis testing experiments.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 772. Advanced Studies. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Supervised study of special interest to graduate students.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 773. Advanced Studies in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Supervised study in areas of special interest to graduate students.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 774. Advanced Studies. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Supervised study of special interest to graduate students.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 775. Advanced Studies. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Supervised study of special interest to graduate students.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 776. Mesoscale Oceanography. 3 Credit Hours.

The course will present a current view of our understanding of ocean mesoscale variability, including its properties in different oceanic regimes, the dynamics governing its origin and development, and its overall role in the oceans and climate. Lectures will present material covering theory, observations (both in situ and satellite), and numerical model results. Students will learn basic concepts on ocean mesoscale processes and perspectives on current research topics from lectures, assignments and research papers.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MPO 800. Practical Training and Internship. 1-6 Credit Hours.

Supervised internship or off-campus employment for students pursuing the M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. degree. Consists of work related to research in progress.
Components: THI.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MPO 805. MPS Internship. 1-6 Credit Hours.

The Master of Professional Science internship is an approved, supervised internship project with an organization engaged in activities associated with the student’“”•–—˜s degree track. The internship results in a collaborative project, written report, and oral presentation on a topic approved by the student’“”•–—˜s advisory committee. Up to 6 credits are necessary for graduation.
Components: THI.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

MPO 810. Master's Thesis. 1-6 Credit Hours.

The student working on his/her master's thesis enrolls for credit, in most departments not to exceed six, as determined by his/her advisor. Credit is not awarded until the thesis has been accepted.
Components: THI.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

MPO 820. Research in Residence. 1 Credit Hour.

Used to establish research in residence for the thesis for the master's degree after the student has enrolled for the permissible cumulative total in MPO 710 (usually six credits). Credit not granted. May be regarded as full time residence.
Components: THI.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

MPO 830. Doctoral Dissertation. 1-12 Credit Hours.

Required of all candidates for the Ph.D. The student will enroll for credit as determined by his/her advisor but not for less than a total of 12. Not more than 12 hours of MPO 730 may be taken in a regular semester, nor more than six in a summer session. Where a student has passed his/her (a) qualifying examinations, and (b) is engaged in an assistantship, he/she may still take the maximum allowable credit stated above.
Components: THI.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

MPO 850. Research in Residence. 1 Credit Hour.

Used to establish research in residence for the Ph.D., after the student has been enrolled for the permissible cumulative total in appropriate doctoral research. Credit not granted. May be regarded as full-time residence as determined by the Dean of the Graduate School.
Components: THI.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

MPO 871. Advanced Studies in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. 1-4 Credit Hours.

Supervised study in areas of special interest to graduate students.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.