12.307 | Spring 2009 | Undergraduate

Weather and Climate Laboratory


Projects based on the use of real-time meteorological observations stress the analysis and dynamical interpretation of weather and climate phenomena. These are complemented by rotating tank experiments, which offer the possibility of using a controlled laboratory environment to plan an experiment, explain ideas to be tested, observe and record the data.

The projects are introduced by means of written assignments and by brief introductory lectures, explaining the underlying physical and dynamical ideas. The lecture component is minimal with emphasis on the planning and discussion of each project by the students themselves.

Oral Presentations

At the end of each project students are required to present their results orally to the whole class. It is our intent to give students not only an opportunity to develop oral presentation skills but also a chance to discuss results with their peers.

Project Reports

Each of the four projects are to be written up in separate reports by each student. The preparation of the report is an iterative process - we expect you to prepare an initial version during and shortly after the completion of each project. This is handed in for comments and revised iteratively throughout the semester.

Guidelines on oral presentations and project reports (PDF)

Rubric for project reports (PDF)

Project Pages

There are four projects each of which takes approximately 3 weeks to complete:

Project 1: Mass and Wind

Project 2: Fronts

Project 3: Convection

Project 4: General Circulation

Some of the project pages link to the “Weather in a Tank” Web site, an NSF-funded project in which curricular materials that combine atmospheric data and laboratory fluid experiments are being developed in the teaching of meteorology, oceanography and climate at the undergraduate level.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Activity Assignments