Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC)

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC)

Location

Location

  • Burnside Hall, Room 945
  • 805 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Montreal QC H3A 0B9
  • Telephone: 514-398-3764
  • Fax: 514-398-6115
  • Email: info.aos [at] mcgill.ca
  • Website: mcgill.ca/meteo

About Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

About Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences offers, at the undergraduate level, a broad range of courses in atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric physics, meteorology, ocean and atmosphere dynamics, and climate. The study of atmospheric and oceanic sciences is based largely on physics and applied mathematics. All required courses except those at the introductory level generally have prerequisites or corequisites in physics, mathematics, and atmospheric science.

One of the goals of the discipline is to develop the understanding necessary to improve our ability to predict the weather. Another important area of study focuses on the changes in global climate caused by the changing chemical composition of the atmosphere. The approach to the study of climate change is quantitative in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Like other parts of physics, atmospheric and oceanic sciences attempt to create theoretical models of their complex processes as a means of analyzing the motion and composition of the air and seawater, thermodynamic behaviours, and their interaction with radiation and with the other components of the climate system.

From one viewpoint, the atmosphere and ocean may be studied as a large volume of gas or liquid by the methods of fluid mechanics: wind or currents, circulation patterns, turbulence, and energy and momentum exchanges are the ideas employed in this approach. Alternatively, the atmosphere and ocean may be studied from the point of view of their detailed physics: how water condenses in the air; how seawater freezes to form sea ice; how cloud droplets make rain; how sunlight warms the surface of the Earth; how heat is exchanged between the ocean and the atmosphere; and how the atmosphere and ocean interact to shape the weather and climate. A comprehensive understanding requires both viewpoints, and these are reflected in the curriculum.

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences offers six programs:

The Honours program is meant for students with high standing. It is based on courses similar to those in the Major program, but provides opportunities to perform research and to take advanced courses. The Major program, although somewhat less intensive, satisfies the requirements for a professional career as a meteorologist, and like the Honours program equips the student to undertake postgraduate study in atmospheric and oceanic sciences at any of the leading universities. The Department also offers a special one-year Diploma program to B.Sc. or B.Eng. graduates.

An undergraduate degree in Atmospheric Science is an excellent background for professional careers in government service or private industry and/or graduate study in the physical sciences. Our students have been traditionally employed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (and the Meteorological Service of Canada in particular), but are also highly sought after by provincial governments, private forecasting companies, environmental consulting and engineering firms, and insurance companies. Academic positions in teaching and research are available to M.Sc. and Ph.D. graduates.

Students interested in any of the undergraduate programs should contact:

  • Carolina Dufour, Undergraduate Program Adviser
  • Email: carolina.dufour [at] mcgill.ca
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022) (disclaimer)

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Faculty

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Faculty

Chair
D. Kirshbaum
Emeritus Professors
P. Bartello (joint appt. with Mathematics and Statistics); J.F. Derome;H.G. Leighton; L.A. Mysak; M.K. Yau; I. Zawadzki.
Professors
P. Ariya (joint appt. with Chemistry); J.R. Gyakum; B. Tremblay.
Associate Professors
F. Fabry (joint appt. with Bieler School of Environment); Y. Huang; D. Kirshbaum; T. Preston (joint appt. with Chemistry); D. Straub; A. Zuend.
Assistant Professors
C. Dufour; D. Romanic; I. Tan.
Adjunct Professors
L. Barrie; M. Buehner; P. Kollias; H. Lin; L.-P. Nadeau.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2022-2023 (last updated Aug. 23, 2022) (disclaimer)

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Minor Atmospheric Science (18 credits)

This Minor may be taken in conjunction with any program in the Faculty of Science.

For more information, see Minor Atmospheric Science (18 credits).

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Liberal Program - Core Science Component Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (48 credits)

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Atmospheric Science (62 credits)

For more information, see Major Atmospheric Science (62 credits).

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Atmospheric Science and Physics (69 credits)

This Major provides a solid basis for postgraduate study in meteorology, atmospheric physics, or related fields, as well as the necessary preparation for embarking on a professional career as a meteorologist directly after the B.Sc. ...

For more information, see Major Atmospheric Science and Physics (69 credits).

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Honours Atmospheric Science (74 credits)

72-74 credits ...

For more information, see Honours Atmospheric Science (74 credits).

Diploma (Dip.) Meteorology (30 credits)

The Department offers an intensive, one-year program in theoretical and applied meteorology to B.Sc. or B.Eng. graduates of suitable standing in physics, applied mathematics or other appropriate disciplines, leading to a Diploma in Meteorology. The program is designed for students with little or no previous background in meteorology who wish to direct their...

For more information, see Diploma (Dip.) Meteorology (30 credits).

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) Related Programs

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) Related Programs

Internship Year in Science (IYS)

Internship Year in Science (IYS)

IYS is a pregraduate work experience program available to eligible students and normally taken between their U2 and U3 years. For more information, see Science Internships and Field Studies.

The following programs are also available with an internship component:

  • Major in Atmospheric Science
  • Honours in Atmospheric Science

Earth System Science Interdepartmental Major

Earth System Science Interdepartmental Major

This program is offered by the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Earth and Planetary Sciences; and Geography.

Students in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences interested in this program should contact Professor Bruno Tremblay (bruno.tremblay [at] mcgill.ca). For more information, see Earth System Science (ESYS).

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022) (disclaimer)
Faculty of Science—2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022) (disclaimer)
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