Course Structure

Four projects are carried out during the semester, each taking approximately 3 weeks to complete—see the course schedule. The first three projects include a fluids laboratory component and analysis of observations of the atmosphere and ocean. For the fourth project, students define their own research questions that guide further inquiry into some aspect of the first three projects.

Each project includes written notes which areĀ used to convey theory and background material underpinning the theme of the project. The lecture component is kept to a minimum, allowing us to focus on hand-on activities working in groups.

Results from each project are summarized in an oral presentation to the rest of the class, and students submit written reports for projects 1-3. The presentations and reports are designed to help students develop strategies for effective professional communication (e.g., in conference presentations, journal articles, or technical reports), and we require that students revise and re-submit written reports after receiving comments from the instructors. The course grade is based largely on revisions of the written reports for projects 1-3 and the oral presentation of project 4.