Meteorology - The Study of the Earth's Atmosphere and Weather
Today, the ESSE Meteorology concentration within the AOSS Department allows students to obtain a broad-based education that provides the theoretical and computational skills necessary to properly analyze and understand meteorological phenomenon ranging from synoptic scale weather systems to micrometeorological energy exchanges at the Earth’s surface.
Our courses include such topics as weather systems, weather forecasting and analysis, boundary layer meteorology, radiative transfer, cloud and precipitation processes and the physics of our climate system. Additionally, located within the College of Engineering, our department is uniquely positioned to provide students with the opportunity to explore the development and application of both surface-based and remote-sensing instrumentation for the study of various meteorological phenomena, as well.
Students within the ESSE Meteorology program also participate in a wide-range of extracurricular activities which help them to strengthen their understanding of many of the concepts covered within their classroom-based studies. These activities include working with faculty on state-of-the-art research projects, as well as activities such as:
- Real-time forecasting for Jackson Hot Air Balloon Jubilee and the American Solar Challenge/World Solar Challenge solar car races
- Greenland field camp experience
- Storm chasing as part of the VORTEX2 tornadogenesis field project
Meteorology Concentration Advisor
History of Meteorology at U-M
The field of meteorology has been studied at the University of Michigan since 1854, when scientists at UM's Detroit Observatory purchased a basic set of instruments to monitor the day-to-day variations in meteorological conditions in Ann Arbor.
While much of the effort at that time was focused upon developing a better understanding of the impact of weather and climate on agricultural production across the region, the study of meteorology at UM would eventually evolve to cover topics such as: applied weather forecasting, air pollution transport and deposition, the impact of the Great Lakes on regional weather, and the design of the meteorological instrumentation that allowed for a better understanding of each of these topics.