ATOC 1060 Our Changing Environment: El Nino, Ozone, and Climate

Instructor Contact:

Jeffrey Forrest, Ph.D.


About the Course:

Discusses the Earth’s climate for non-science majors, focusing on the role of the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface. Describes the water cycle, atmospheric circulations, and ocean currents, and how they influence global climate, El Nino, and the ozone hole. Discusses human impacts from climate change. Prereq., ATOC 1050.

ATOC 1060 is an introductory course for those seeking to better understand the practical science and concerns climate change and Global Warming; and, as might be affects to your personal life, business, and interests in science. Everyone is affected by the climate! This course explores basic elements of Earth systems and climate change that can be used well-beyond completion of the class in better understanding environmental and social change resulting from dynamic Earth processes!

Additional Information: GT Pathways: GT-SC2 -Natural Physicl Sci:Lec Crse w/o Req Lab

Arts Sci Core Curr: Natural Science Sequence

MAPS Course: Natural Science


By the end of the course you should be able to:

    1. Define the basic terminology and scientific elements of climatology within the framework of various Earths systems e.g., atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, pedosphere, biosphere, magnetosphere, etc.
    2. Explain the importance of Earth systems (examples above) and their interrelationships with climate – affects/effects, couplings, perturbations, forcings, and relationships to time scales.
    3. Apply basic elements of long-term weather analysis (30 years or more) to the development of climatic characterizations and related predictions of climate on multiple time scales and geographic areas.
    4. Examine and evaluate technologies and various methods for modeling climate.
    5. Apply critical thinking skills focused on the evaluation of Earth systems and their interrelationships to controlling climate, and interpret probable outcomes associated with global climate change and human activity.
    6. Apply critical thinking skills in discerning the distinctions that characterize climate change and Global Warming.

Required Texts:

Global Climate Change: Turning Knowledge Into Action (Links to an external site.) 1st Edition by David E. Kitchen

Grading (out of n points):

Earned % Letter Grade Earned % Letter Grade
94.00 – 100 = A 73.00 – 76.99 = C
90.00 – 93.99 = A- 70.00 – 72.99 = C-
87.00 – 89.99 = B+ 67.00 – 69.99 = D+
83.00 – 86.99 = B 63.00 – 66.99 = D
80.00 – 82.99 = B- 60.00 – 62.99 = D-
77.00 – 79.99 = C+ Below 60 = F



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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado