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Atmospheric science

New Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosol Courses in Spring 2021

This Spring, AOES is offering a new graduate course in Aerosols and a renewed course on atmospheric chemistry which will be cross-listed as a graduate course for the first time.  Both courses will be taught by Associate Professor Daniel Tong, an expert on both atmospheric chemistry and aerosols.


CLIM 438 / CHEM 438 / GEOL 503* Atmospheric Chemistry 

 Atmospheric Chemistry Flyer S2021

Chemical compounds affect not only the air we breathe, but also the flow of energy and the ozone layer that shields us from harmful UV light. CLIM/CHEM 438, Atmospheric Chemistry, reviews fundamental chemical processes of the Earth's atmosphere, including chemical cycles, thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, photochemistry, radiative balance, ozone chemistry. This course will introduce students to the chemistry behind key environmental issues such as outdoor and indoor air pollution, acid rain, the ozone hole, and climate change.

*Section of GEOL 503 Special Topics in Earth Science (3 cr)


CLIM 759-002 Aerosols 

Aerosols Flyer S2021

Aerosols are tiny particles suspended in the air. Too small to be seen by the naked eye, these particles can reach the very bottom of the lungs and are responsible for eight million premature deaths globally each year due to lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Aerosols play a key role in the climate system by directly absorbing and scattering radiation, and by influencing cloud formation.  Ideas of geoengineering have also been proposed to use cooling aerosols to offset the warming effects of greenhouse gases.


This new graduate course will introduce the fundamentals of atmospheric aerosols and their effects on climate and human health. A wide range of science topics will be discussed, including major sources of aerosols, their chemical and physical characteristics, aerosol-cloud interaction, health and environmental effects, and geoengineering. This course is designed to prepare students for research and future careers in environmental science, engineering, policy and health-related fields.


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