The Instructor: Sonya Miller
Welcome to METEO 469!
My name is Sonya Miller, and I will be your instructor for METEO 469, offered through the Meteorology and Atmospheric Science Department at the Pennsylvania State University. I work as a Weather and Climate Data Scientist at BASF. Prior to that, I was a Researcher in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science for over 14 years. My work and research involves investigating Earth's climate in many different ways — everything from how it is changing to how those changes are affecting human vulnerabilities to weather.
If you have never taken an online course before — don't worry too much! — there is some adjustment, but I hope you find the format convenient and flexible. I will do my best to help you, and to answer any questions you have about content or logistics.
Hope you have a good semester!
This course was created by Dr. Michael Mann from the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at Penn State. Please take a look at the The Course Author section below to learn more about Michael Mann and to hear his thoughts about this course.
The Course Author: Michael Mann
What about me? I am a professor in the Department of Meteorology at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Penn State Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. I also direct the Penn State "Earth System Science Center". You can also find me blogging occasionally at the website RealClimate.org that I co-founded.
My research involves the study of Earth's climate system, including the topic of "climate change". Among other things, I'm interested in documenting how climate has changed in the past from "proxy" data like ice cores, tree rings, and corals. I also use and analyze results from theoretical climate models, focusing on phenomena such as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation ("ENSO"). You can find out more about my research here.
I teach Meteorology and Geosciences courses on a variety of topics including climate dynamics (METEO 470), climate modeling (METEO 523), data analysis and statistics (ENNEC 472), first year seminar on climate change (EM SC 100S), and a general education course on earth system history (EARTH 2).
Meteorology 469 is brand new to my teaching portfolio. It is the first course at Penn State that I've designed from scratch, and the first course I've ever taught online. The course subject matter—global warming and climate change—is timely, given the increasing focus on this issue in recent years. What is unusual about this particular climate change course is that we span the full range of relevant topics, from the basic meteorology and underlying science, to the study of impacts, to the policy-relevant issue of mitigation.